With emojis now the fastest growing language in the UK (hard to imagine but check out our previous article to find out more), it’s about time we had a rundown of just what they are and how much you can actually do with them.
So what is an emoji?
The word emoji which literally derives from ‘picture’ (e) and ‘character’ (moji), is a form of pictograph used popularly in electronic messaging and across websites. Such characters bear close resemblance to their older cousins the ASCII emoticons ( :D ;-) :P ) and kaomoji ( <(￣︶￣)> ). The origins of this form arguably dates as far back as 1857 when the number 73 was defined as ‘love and kisses’ in the use of Morse code, with use of the ‘smiley’ emoticon finding its first use 24 years later in the US satirical magazine Puck. Today a vastly increased range of icons exist and such graphics are now built into mobile handsets, herein the birth of the emoji.
How to use emojis to say everything you need to say
Popular expressions and phrases such as, ‘laughter’ and ‘frustration’ can quickly be replicated in image form to add a sense of personality to an otherwise impersonal format such as an SMS text or digital email, but deciphering the exact meaning of an image can be perilous. As the old adage goes, ‘A nod is as good as a wink to a blind man’, so too is a winking emoji to the uninitiated. So before you get yourself tied in knots sending an accidentally suggestive emoji to your boss or in-laws, take a look over our emoji infographic; you’ll be fluent in no time!