For a few reasons I do not fully appreciate and cannot seem to understand, most of my friends and co-workers are into Emoji. They say Emojis help to communicate.
I agree. With a few exceptions, Emojis do not communicate well. Do you know how many Emojis there are? Hundreds. Do you know what they are? Eggplant and french fries are easy enough. Smiley face, too. And frowny face.
After that, it gets complicated.
Emoji are a revolution. So says Philip Seargeant in his book The Emoji Revolution.
He explains how Emoji have become a vital part of online communication because so many people use them while online. Most of us use them wrong.
How did Emoji get started? Jennifer Ouellette:
In 1982, a computer scientist named Scott Fahlman was chatting on an online bulletin board and used a combination of a colon, a hyphen, and a round bracket to indicate that he was joking. This was likely the first emoticon, a kind of emotional shorthand that emerged in online communications to compensate for the loss of in-person tonal clues (facial expressions, gestures, and so forth). Then came emoji, which started spreading rapidly into wider use around 2011.
Perhaps more than 90-percent of all of us online use Emoji. For whatever the reason, Seargeant considers Emoji a form of language, and while I agree on a basic level, it’s a mostly useless language that is little more than emphatic punctuation than anything useful.
Where are the verbs and adverbs? How do you make a sentence?
Emoji is not the same as a fully formed language for various reasons, but one is that it doesn’t have grammatical structures. What it does have are very simple emerging conventions, transferring ideas from English, for example, into emoji. So what comes first in the sentence would be the subject, what’s happening to the subject will be the verb, putting more than one of something together to make the plural, and so forth.
In other words, a simple language that we need to know if we’re online, but a language we can easily do without. For that reason, I call Emoji nothing more than generational graphic punctuation. That means its not a real language.
Language, though, is dynamic and constantly involved in change. My grandparents view the word ‘gay’ far different than the modern generation.
Change is not always good, but it is something we must adapt to.
It’s possible that things will change so much that we can’t yet even conceive of what it might be like. We’re getting to a point where, from a practical point of view, it’s going to be more difficult to find the right emoji to convey what you want to write, even with tens of thousands of emojis to choose from. So I can imagine a possible tipping point, where some realignment or reconfiguration has to take place.
I would like a reconfiguration. Emojis need labels because there are so many that are so similar. Emoji needs verbs, too. Obvious verbs. And, an online dictionary.
Otherwise, Emjois are little more than graphic punctuation. Emoji may be important but I hate them.