I'm an old fuddy duddy, and I don't understand emojis

Specifically, I don’t understand why there are so freaking many of them, and why people keep making more, and MOST PARTICULARLY why anyone would use them in place of an ordinary common noun.

I will admit to using smileys. I use smileys here, in fact. Quite frequently. But smileys, as used here, are a shorthand for concepts that don’t quite have a pithy English language equivalent. :smack: might be equally well expressed as “boy, that was a dumb thing I did” and :rolleyes: as “that was a dumb thing YOU did” but I do think there’s value in being able to express those sort of concepts quickly and succinctly.

Emojis, on the other hand…

I see that the latest version of the Emoji character set has over one thousand characters. I use two. Thumbs up, and smiley face. Some other friends of mine tend to sign texts with pretty flowers and hearts and so on. that’s fine - they’re prettifying sort of people, it suits their characters.

But why in the name of Steve Jobs’ Ghost does my phone keep suggesting that if I want to type “damn, the puppy ate my new shoes” I replace the words “puppy” and “shoes” with pretty pictures? WHO WOULD DO THIS???!! It’s MORE WORK for the recipient to decipher, the puppy emoji probably looks nothing like my actual puppy, and the shoes CERTAINLY aren’t going to look anything like my actual shoes. And I already did all the work of typing out the characters.

I was going to end this post with an ironic “Emojis - get off my <lawn-emoji>”. But guess what - there actually isn’t a lawn emoji or a grass emoji anyway! And if the Emoji set ever becomes big enough that there is one, it will be bigger than Chinese, and no-one will be able to find any character except by typing in words into a search bar. In which case you might as well, yanno, USE ACTUAL WORDS.

I rest my :briefcase:

I’m confused, you start off by saying that you don’t understand why people use them, but then you go on to mention how often you use them. It sounds more like a case of you understand exactly why and how people use them, you just don’t like that they use them differently than you and you kinda answered that in the title.
Also, smileys are emojis by a different name.

PS, if your phone is trying to turn words into emojis, there’s a setting that can be changed. Mine doesn’t do that. Check your autocorrect/spelling/prediction settings.

Some of them are funny.

I don’t use them primarily because it takes too long to find one that’s appropriate.

Letters always have an advantage over pictograms.

Some people’s phones still have a text limit, and break up long texts. My phone sometimes breaks up texts, and then scrambles them, so I have to try to puzzle them back in order.

People use emojis, as well as abbreviations like BRB (be right back) b4 (before) and 2moro (tomorrow) to try to keep a text a certain length.

I personally don’t do it anymore; I just let people figure out the chunks of text if they come in the wrong order, but in an older phone I had, pre-Smart phone, it wouldn’t even send a text that was too long. It made me trim it. I wish it had had emojis. I went a little crazy with the abbreviations back then. I even used “prolly” for “probably,” which I normally hate, but I had 32 characters, period.

Also, I don’t use Twitter much myself (read occasionally, never send), but if you can use those emojis in tweets, they are probably really helpful in bringing a tweet in under the character count.

What bugs me is that people send me emojis that aren’t instantly clear. Why did my friend send me what looks looks like an oil derrick? If I have to find a dictionary of emojis whenever I get a message, that defeats the purpose of texting.

Oddly, I’ve found that I’ve become more verbose due to texting. It used to be, if I were just jotting off a quick note, I’d write “wed” in place of “Wednesday”, and so on. But now, when I’m typing on my phone, “Wednesday” will always be an option by the time I’ve typed “wed”, and often even just from the “w”. It actually takes fewer keystrokes to type out the full word than the abbreviation.

I don’t use them very much upon discovering that they don’t always translate. For example, if I’m posting/texting from my phone, a particular emoji on my phone may morph into something totally different depending on either the site I’m visiting or the other person’s phone. I find it easier to just use the standard colon-open/close-parentheses or number-three-greater-than-carat because they translate into universal emojis everybody understands.

You seem to have missed (or are ignoring) the first sentence of the OP.

I use a handful of emojis regularly. But I do find having to choose among 100 “smile” emojis quite a bit of overkill, especially when after I have chosen one it looks different after I’ve posted if from how it looked on the list.

I am an older fuddy duddy and probably use them less but in context, they can give and extra grunt to messages. However, again I believe there is no standard code so what may appear as a cat on my Android may appear as a dog elsewhere).
Okay, extreme example.

It’s a commie plot. China is trying to take over our language, before taking over everything else.


Not at all. The specific purpose of a text may be to confuse you ;).

I was writing a text to my partner and misspelled dessert. I was offered emojis of camels and cactus plants to use and decided it would be amusing to use them and see if she could figure out what I was on about.

ι нαvε ηο ιδεα ωнλ ρεορℓε δο αηηολιηg sнιτ ℓικε τнιs.

I think I’ve figured out a better way to express my annoyance.

Back in the day … waaaay way back in the day, when a CS lab full of Apple Macs and a dot matrix printer was the height of technology, we used “smileys” - all the : ) or ; ) or _(**)_/ type of things, and they were for expressing emotions and facial expressions - concepts that it’s difficult or long-winded to get across in words like “this message is meant with friendly intent”.

And we also had “Wingdings” - an alphabet full of pretty pictures with no particular “meaning” which could be used to make your printing look a little fancy - that is, if what you were printing was the sort of text for which Comic Sans would be a reasonable stylistic choice.

They’re actually quite functionally different. This is my problem. They’ve filled up the Emoji alphabet with a neverending parade of frikkin WingDings. It was useable before that…

Not this friend. Not this text.