Need an emoji primer

Smilies have been around since the 40-column text days, and graphic and animated-GIF emoticons are very common. But now I gather that there’s an entire pictographic semi-language built around the sort of pictures Microsoft Word calls Wingdings/Webdings:

Is this a passing fad like Leetspeak, or will I need an Emoji For Dummies before long?

No one has anything to add?

I don’t think it’s true that there’s anything like a semi-language of emoji. I think people just use them like an elaborate system of emoticons. I don’t think there are established, dictionary definitions for the things, you just use the one that seems to have the effect you want in context.

I could be wrong. I know there have been headlines about them as “quasi-hieroglyphic” etc. But I believe, from what I read further on in the relevant articles, that this is an exaggeration.

Wingdings and Webdings (and previously, Dingbats) have been around longer than Microsoft Word.

I don’t read the OP as claiming or implying otherwise.

I’ve never seen any indication that they’re anything but a fun pictographic option for showing emphasis or emotion.

Now, that won’t stop some people from claiming that their way is right, but that’s the internet for you.

This has been my experience and that of the people I interact with: we just use them however they seem appropriate. For instance, “:lollipop: :banana: :tada: 8pm” is clearly a notice that there will be a lollipop banana party at 8pm.

They are clearly becoming more established as a twitter language. I’m not on twitter, but I read some blogs that frequently quote tweets, and some of the tweets consist primarily of a series of emoticons, with bloggers discussing and responding to them as if they are expressing complete thoughts. For instance this week shamrock/rainbow/heart/thumbs up tells a story.

Can you link to some examples?

If you google @emojifilmreview you’ll see several, of varying quality.

However, I still don’t think that makes them a ‘language’

If you look at the usages across different users, you’ll see the same emoji getting used to represent different ideas, sometimes radically different. The facial ones especially are idiosyncratic in representing emotions and mental status : everyone uses them to mean slightly different things.

Twitter usage is also a less than ideal example, because the character limit forces people to be creative about representing their thoughts, and the more complex the thought (even in plain english) the more likely that it will be misinterpreted.

They just did. :slight_smile: shamrock/rainbow/heart/thumbs up refers to Ireland’s recent ruling on gay marriage.

My friends and I mostly just use it to be funny and see how creative we can get while still having it be decipherable.

Yes, shamrock/rainbow/heart/thumbs up was my example of twitter emoji language. If I see any other similar ones, I will try to share. Frankly, I often gloss over them, because my mind doesn’t work that way (I have enough trouble trying to understand initialisms). Sometimes I will entirely lose the thread of a blog discussion, and realize that it’s because someone is responding to the whole line of emoji’s that I just saw as some pretty decorations.

Here’s an article about a tweetsimilar to the ones I see.

I have seen them used on Facebook as a sort of rebus game. But it’s just a game, and not intended to be used as an actual form of communication.

Like (disk icon) + (cartoon penis) + (Ryanair logo) = Saving Private Ryan.

As I recall they started becoming popular before Twitter. Smartphones allowed them to be used in texting, which is where I remember them first gaining real popularity (primarily amongst young people).

It may be significant to note that emoji were invented in Japan. They cover a lot of weird use cases, especially with all the various office equipment ones and such. I’ve always understood part of the idea of them was to let Japanese texters in the early smartphone era communicate things that might be more ambiguous when written in Roman characters (IIRC Japanese can be ambiguous when Romanized without context, so for short texts could be clunky).

They didn’t catch in the west for several years, and now I think most western users mostly just use them as slightly richer emoticons.

Winky face, shamrock, tempura shrimp.

How does one insert emojis into their posts? Do they only work from your phone? I’ve looked at downloading emoji apps onto my phone, but they want to replace the phone keyboard with their own keyboard, and that scares me.

Emoji are standard characters for Macs now. I just copy them from the Character viewer (if I’m on my computer) or select them from the text keyboard thingy if on my iPhone or iPad.

I don’t have a Mac or an iPhone, I have a Windows PC and a Verizon Android.

Well, I don’t know how you’d insert emoji then; I was telling you how I insert emoji; isn’t that what you asked?

I said how does one, I was really hoping I could learn how to do it. :confused: