Apparently humans were able to communicate prior to emoji.
I know I know, it’s complete and utter to think that we were ever limited to words alone. We are increasingly more accustomed to these little yellow faces representing our emotions or contributing to our wordy prose. But as much as they have liberated us from the shackles of word-based communication and allowed us to portray our inner most desires using aubergines, there are those moments where our emoji keyboard leaves us a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Here are my top head-scratchers for the creators of the emoji keyboard:
- Why is the dragon the most realistic of all the animals?
- What on earth is this? Asparagus? Very big pan pipes on a hill?
- Why is the lion so sad?
- Why is there a snowman in the snow, and a snowman not in the snow? Where are night time snow man and sunny snow man?
- Why is there a man with eyes and no mouth?
- Why are there 7 different trains but not a single whole in-shell egg?
- Why is there not a picture of someone being sick?
- What does the moon know that we don’t?
- Why does the ghost have one of his eyes closed? Do ghosts even have eyes?
Did you ever hear about the ‘sarcmark’?
Did you ever Back in 2010, just before emoji hit the western world, detecting sarcasm online was such a problem that a type foundry (a what?!) actually tried to invent a character that could be used to indicate sarcasm. The ‘sarcmark’ sadly never gained any real traction, likely because the universal emoji solved the problem a year later.
What now for language?
Emoji have reached tipping point, probably well beyond in fact. With this, over time, our brains have learned to react to emoji (like the smiley faced emoticon) in the same way they would react to a real human face. It’s gone emotional. How this will have an effect on the language of the future, remains to be revealed, but what we know for sure now, is that language (as we knew it) will never be the same again.
For more emoji news: Read the report on Emoji studies