I’m trying to learn how to read and write a new language. I’m well past the age of optimum language learning. Some say that language skills peak at around age 7. But I started to notice that everyone’s emails are cuter than mine. They’re more emotional. They seem more fun, more real and more hip. I decided to learn how to write with emojis.
Emojis are defined as ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages.
A New York Magazine article about the evolution of emoji defines them with a bit more angst: They are a small invasive cartoon army of faces and vehicles and flags and food and symbols trying to topple the millennia-long reign of words.
Emojis were created in the late 1990s by Shigetaka Kurita. Emoji means “picture character” in Japanese. A great starting point is emojipedia.org.
Emojis are an integral part of texting since they can replace words and phrases. They've been widely accessible since 2011 when Apple added them to iOS5.
Emojis make texting more fun. But there's a dark side to their happy faces. Experts worry that texting impairs social skills. Have you seen a family out for dinner with all of their heads bent down as they type into their phones? They're doing lots of communicating but not with each other. Turns out the same thing was said about the telephone so we’ll probably manage to survive this as well. In 1897, a writer in London complained, “We shall soon be nothing but transparent heaps of jelly to each other.” Let me translate that using my new skills:
If you think that says, “family universe shaved ice snail,” I encourage you to open yourself up to a less literal interpretation. And if you can find an emoji for heaps of jelly, send it to me. Here’s an easy one:
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