Emoji: The Fastest Growing Language in the UK

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Thinking of picking up a second language? Perhaps you’ve heard for the 17th time that we should be picking up Chinese in order to avoided becoming redundant in the world market. Well according to Professor Vyv Evans of Linguistics at Bangor University, it’s incredibly likely that you’re already practising and using the UK’s fastest growing language on a daily basis, whether it’ll help you out in a job interview however is something else.

As hard as it might be to imagine, emoji (yep, those little smiling chaps that you put at the end of text messages to infer that your intentions are genuine) are now the fastest growing form of language communication in the UK and show no immediate sign of slowing down. Typically considered to be a casual method of communication, the emoji is preparing to bridge the gap between formal and informal use, with Pizza Hut in New York City already taking orders that make use of the pizza emoji and retail delivery firm ParcelHero urging large internet retailers like Amazon and eBay to do the same.

Not since the last Pharaoh of Egypt has a pictographic language had such prominence, and despite the far reaching influence of that long past empire, according to Professor Evans the emoji has already outshone its hieroglyphic ancestor, “As a visual language emoji has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to develop.”

Following the release of his findings, Professor Evans went on to reveal that eight out of 10 people in the UK use emojis, and a staggering further 72% of adults ages 18-25 say that they find expressing themselves using an emoji significantly easier than with words.

If you’re curious as to the top 10 most popular symbols in use today, well he’s got that covered too:

Top 10 most popular emoji symbols in the UK

1. Smiley face

2. Crying with laughter

3. Love heart

4. Beaming red cheeks

5. Thumbs up

6. Tongue out winking face

7. Blow kiss

8. Wink face

In the opinion of Professor Evans, “Emoji is the fastest growing form of language in history based on its incredible adoption rate and speed of evolution

Like what you’ve read? Check out our second emoji article with a trusty infographic representation to help you get your head around a few of their individual meanings.


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