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Schools

And the ‘Children’s Word of the Year’ goes to…

Here’s a little challenge. Guess what the ‘Children’s Word of the Year’ is.

Today’s tech-savvy children use it liberally to convey feelings effectively and to dramatize their stories. However, the children’s word of the year, as announced by Oxford University Press, is actually not a word. Instead, it is the symbol ‘#’ also known as hashtag.

The hashtag was chosen after over 120,000 short stories written by children in the UK and were analysed by OUP lexicographers. Children often use hashtag to express their exaggerated emotions within a sentence. For instance, they may write, “The #scorching sun made us run away.”

Hashtag is also frequently used to emphasize a particular subject and it is also known to hype up ground breaking news or a posted issue.

In Malaysia, there has been a tremendous increase in online activities among young students over the past 10 years and more so now that smart devices such as tablets and smart phones are easily available and affordable.

A research conducted by the Malaysian Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce (2013) has revealed that both the internet and mobile phones are deemed important to young students in terms of learning, communication and for entertainment purposes.

Children in Malaysia do use a fair amount of hashtags in their daily activities, mainly on social media platforms. They mostly use them to create a buzz among peers. Other than that, they use it to link up different social media sites.

The hashtag is said to have been first used on social media in 2007. No one knew then that it would become so popular.

Click here to see which other words are also trending in 2015: https://global.oup.com/education/dictionaries/500-words/childrens-language/?region=uk

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