Of greater note is how gender does and doesn’t come into play: if you’re a conservative male journalist you really adhere to notions that say emoji-aren’t-for-you. If you’re a celebrity male, you’re perfectly happy using oodles of emoji, as with Snoop Dogg, Kyle MacLachlan, DJ Khaled, William Shatner, Diplo, and Chad Johnson.Read More
Tyler Schnoebelen, who gave the keynote speech on Monday, says conversations about emoji have been too often painted with a broad brush. There’s the utopian vision: emoji as a "universal language," the great democratizer and harbinger of communication across class, culture, and geography. And then there’s the doomsday vision: emoji as the destruction of language, a political tool, a new way to send violent threats. The nuance often gets lost in between. We have hardly any research to tell us who uses emoji, when, why, and how that use has changed over time. We know even less about what emoji can reveal in disaster scenarios, campaigns, or educational settings; even linguists, who have looked at emoticons and other internet-born languages for decades, don't have a consensus on what emoji mean for the future of language.Read More
To be sure, the emoji “does need to look like the thing,” says Tyler Schnoebelen, a product manager at Integrate.ai who has researched emoticons and emojis. A dog emoji should look like a dog, regardless of the platform. It’s also interesting to note that even an emoji that literally looks like what it is can have different connotations depending on how it is drawn. Some animal emojis are cute (like a pig’s face, which a fun one to use after you’ve eaten your heart out on lobster), but others are side views, and just show what an animal looks like. In other words, even if an emoji is recognizable as the thing that it is symbolizing, the way it is designed matters.
The larger point is that we should consider the ways emojis work as metaphors. An emoji’s non-literal use matters, according to Schnoebelen. The Unicode subcommittee that focuses on emojis gives “extra points for something that can be used metaphorically,” he says. For example: A shark emoji doesn’t just represent a water predator, it can also symbolize aggressiveness, or a lawyer, he points out. And an unicorn emoji is fairly ridiculous if you think of it as a representation of something that doesn’t exist, but it does do a rather nice job symbolizing rarity and magic.
A cultural favorite among these double meanings: the fact that the peach emoji also looks like a butt, Schnoebelen says. It’s a good example of an emoji’s power not stemming only from the fact that it literally looks exactly like the real-world thing. “If [an emoji] looks precisely like the object and nothing else, you lose some of the fun and creativity of the symbolism,” he says.Read More
A well-funded Toronto artificial-intelligence startup founded by a former Facebook Inc. executive has snagged three marquee hires.Read More
Así lo afirma una investigación del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos. Cuando queremos describir algo particularmente indescifrable decimos que nos suena a chino. A un alemán, sin embargo, lo raro le suena a español. La lengua emblema de lo incomprensible varía según países y culturas: para franceses e ingleses es el griego, para los italianos, el árabe; para los finlandeses, el hebreo.Read More
You don't have to know French to be able to have fun with this article (use Google Translate!). It's about why there are all these band names with all caps and no vowels...what are the patterns?Read More
To spell Finland in English, you need six different letters. To say it in emoji, Finland would like to be known as either sauna, socks, heavy-metal headbanger or “girl power.”Read More
As linguist Tyler Schnoebelen explains, the ways we use emoji varies based on where we live and who our friends are. And some of the humorous, serious or controversial ways people use emoji have become iconic representations of language.Read More
Linguists such as Tyler Schnoebelen, who has done several studies on emoji and emoticons, delved into the power and diversity of the images as a method of communication—while joining the chorus of his peers who say, no, emoji are not a language. He noted how the meaning of one image will differ depending on who is texting it and where and to whom. For example, emoji users in the United States might never end their war over whether[🙏] is a high five or a prayer, but it means something entirely different in Japan: “thank you.” The meaning of emoji—just like words—isn’t static either. “Language changes,” says Schnoebelen, “and emoji are changing.”Read More