The Strange World of ‘Emoji as a Second Language’ ?

It’s ?. We’re deep into the ?.

Almost every concept you know can now be represented as a tiny ? that varies depending on where it’s displayed.

Not since ? were formalized in ancient times have we had this many new characters added to every alphabet that exists.

  • ??
  • ??
  • ??
  • ??
  • ?

Emoji aren’t there as a stand-in for words. Obviously 1,851 ?s can’t match up to the richness of our everyday language.

So, what’s the point?

To me, a ? is more celebratory than any woohoo.

I’d rather see a ? than the words Mt. Fuji.

They can be used as hashtags on Instagram, now.

They can be Googled.

They can even appear in URLs.

And a lot of procedurally generated art couldn’t exist without it.

Something so seemingly superfluous has brought me a lot of ?— I’ve written about it before, and still find myself coming back with something to say.

As we move into the emoji age, is it possible they really could evolve to become a genuine stand-in for communication? Maybe even the next ? language?

Unicode originally released 722. Then came another 250. Now we’re up to 1,851…

? — :face-with-tears-of-joy: — was the 2015 Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year. WORD of the year. I’m not sure what I think of that, but I do like that communication is getting more creative thanks to the fact we have more ‘words’ with different meanings.

Oh, and apparently ? is surging in popularity for a few different reasons, despite the fact that it is:

“A moon with a face, hiding in shadow. Sometimes perceived to be creepy, this is a regular new moon, with a face on it.” — Emojipedia

Whatever’s ➡️❓

… Only ⌛ will tell.

??? *future-telling sounds*

Space landscape-obsessed dreck penman. Appears on TechCrunch, The Next Web, and on Secret Cave in a far less restrained capacity.