6 Facts About How Emojis Are Changing the Way We Communicate

17 July is World Emoji Day, an unofficial holiday deemed as a “global celebration of the emoji,” which are ideograms  and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages.

Here are a few interesting facts to mark this occasion:

  • As a visual language, emojis have already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to develop.
  • According to Professor Vyv Evans from Bangor University, Emoji is the fastest growing form of language in history based on its incredible adoption rate and speed of evolution.
  • In 2015, the Oxford Dictionary selected the emoji (specifically the one with tears of laughter) as their official “Word of the Year.”
  • That same year, Chevy made headlines when they announced the launch of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze vehicle with a press release using only emojis instead of words.
  • Some scholars are wary of the mass uptake in replacing words with cartoon symbols instead of just using them in addition to written text. In an article titled Emojis: The death of the written language? by Seema Mody, reporter and host at CNBC, she warns: “This should be ringing alarm bells. My worry is not society’s use of emojis to add a little fun and pizazz to a conversation, but the increasing reliance on the different smileys or hand gestures to communicate a feeling or expression. Why do we look up to William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens? Because they beautifully captured moments of life in the written language that even to this day is held in high regard.”
  • “Emojis are rapidly changing the nature of how we communicate in some profound ways,” Ramona Pringle, associate professor in the RTA School of Media and director of the Transmedia Zone at Ryerson University. “They are breaking down language barriers, accelerating human interaction and are being tested in legal arenas,” she adds.


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July 17, 2019

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