Emojis create meaning much faster than a sentence can, and they bring semblance, accessibility and colour to the 6,500 languages that exist in the world today.
Emojis create tone beyond what’s possible with text — as a person emojis are a palette of personality available on our keyboards and phones, the emojis we use say more about the way we feel, than words ever could.
Reading or writing, meaning is delivered without words.
Emojis capture the cultural zeitgeist across countries — our favourite foods, activities, landmarks, all accessible to touch. If a cultural symbol develops, or becomes mainstream, it becomes added to the dictionary, or the ‘Emojipedia’.
Here it will stay, used on billions of keyboards across the globe.
Some new emojis that have been added include the otter, the rainbow flag and bubble tea, what new emotions, symbols, actions, animals could be coming next?
Is emoji a universal language?
English has silent letters, inconsistent pronunciations and evolving rules. When we communicate with digital technology we create our own law — idiosyncrasies are created within that law. Language is contextual, and that context changes minute to minute in an age of instantaneous information.
Like any language, emojis represent us, activities, people, places, things. We reference emojis using or fingers, or existing words, but the beauty of this language is it's irrelevant to our native tongue.
For example, type I love you on a mobile, Android or iPhone, it will suggest you replace it with ❤️. If you speak Mandarin type... 我爱你, you get the exact same suggestion (❤️).
In this idea, emoji is a universal language.
Like the word beginning can only exist with the word end, an emoji is made up of components which create the overall meaning; keywords, pixels and Unicode.
Giving form and consistency to the ever changing nexus of information that is emojis and human emotion, is the Unicode. A unicode is a series of letters and numbers unique to an emoji, which a computer will recognise and then display the correct emoji to a user, based on their device.
From a lot to not much at all, a year of back-burning and regrowth.
Finn Astle, 2020
It's time to accept emojis in formal language
Like we can use our own words, names, car registration numbers, why can’t we use our own emojis to communicate what we want to the organisations in the world that require everything filled out with blue and black pen.
The future is definitely digital, and the way we write and communicate is changing with that proposition. We need to be more open to new ways of communicating in order to help make information accessible, easier to understand and transferrable across language.