Trivia Teaser

Which country is bordered by Libya, Sudan and the Gaza Strip?

Egypt
Iraq
Saudi Arabia
Israel

Emotions run high

01
Dec
2015
 

By Miranda

Well, that was unexpected. The OED has just announced its word of the year for 2015 - and it's not a word. In fact, the 'word' of the year is the emoji or pictograph 😂 (Face With Tears of Joy).
The emoji is not unrelated to the emoticon which is described as a 'metacommunicative pictorial representation of a facial expression', i.e. one of those keyboard 'expressions' one can add to one's messaging, such as :-) or :-(. The emoji takes the idea of the emoticon and adds art.
So, it's easy to see how these emoticons and emoji developed. Just add human imagination to a set of symbols, sit back, and wait for something fun and creative to emerge.
But why have they become so widespread? Well, basically because, while we can all write a sensible sentence and usually communicate the facts of our situation, it's amazingly difficult to communicate tone and emotion in a short, written piece. This would be why it's so much harder than one thinks to write a decent novel, let alone writing poetry.
From day to day, we rely on seeing and hearing the person to whom we're speaking. Seeing is good - all those lovely, tiny movements of the face that we can interpret almost without being conscious of them. Then there's the voice. Face-to-face we get visual and audio cues to a person's mood. Even the telephone is remarkable for allowing nuances in conversation - a laugh, a sympathetic sigh.
However, the text-based communication of the SMS and the blog comment compels us all to do this in a sentence. And that's where the emoticons and emoji enter. 
So add the emoticons and emoji to your sentence - the dictionary approves and they're an efficient addition to communication when we can't see each other.
And what's your favourite emoticon or emoji?

542 Responses to

Emotions run high

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December 23, 2015 at 10:02 AM

I'm health-conscious at the moment because I fell out of bed (and yes, silly)...I have no parts of me badly damaged, only sore. I had to worm-wriggle through 2 rooms so I could sit on the top of 2 steps and then I was fine. Just couldn't pull myself up on my husband, chairs or a stool - my husband thought of the steps. I've now re-orgamised the wheelie-walker into an impromptu bed-rail! OK, but feel reDICulous!

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jafa said:
December 23, 2015 at 10:45 AM

So sorry to hear of your accident Pammy. I suspect you may feel pretty stiff and sore tomorrow too. Do take care ((hugs))