Wow that is an extremely generous characterization. At best they're just prettier versions of :) and :( and I don't see how they allow people to convey ideas they couldn't do just as well via text.
I don't think that solves the problem at all. In fact, I don't think that solves any problems at all.
If anything, it causes way more problems than it solves.
Well, no one actually does, so I'm glad we got out ahead of that problem.
> They're also much higher-resolution so it's easier to pull meaning from an unfamiliar one.
except you don't really need that many. There are a few common emotions that people use... and then there are winky T-Rex emoji's that are completely unnecessary.
Can you seriously not distinguish between the tiny selection and low res quality of text faces, and the wide variety of highly specific and detailed set of reactions now available to us? There's only so much you can do with text before you have to be extremely creative (a level of effort excessive for quick casual conversations) or rely on the other party being familiar with your specific vocabulary of text-faces.
Then give us a single example! So many replies _and not a single example of where words or ascii fail to impart what only an emoji can_. You can say "they're obviously better" until you're blue in the face, but it's all hot air until you prove it.
Obviously words can (almost certainly) impart what an emoji can - but one small image versus maybe 100 words? That's before you start combining them and the expanded meaning you can get from that.
You might as well say "give me an example of where Proper English fails to import what only slang can" - you're missing the point.
I have the choice of either adjusting my writing style to new people, which I’d rather not, or use either text or picture emoji to convey the tone that makes my writing clearer to people who can’t infer it. I find that image-based emoji are much more specific in the mood they convey, and provide more range — and there is a definite difference in how clearly I come across.
More challenging: what’s the text version of a singing, eye-rolling T-Rex?
It’s fine to not care about emoji, but you can’t logically dismiss them as prettier smilies.
> More challenging: what’s the text version of a singing, eye-rolling T-Rex?
Ok, you got me there, because I have no idea what concept is even meant to be communicated by such an absurd thing.
Yeah, figured that would be trotted out at some point. That's a fine sounding argument, but do you really feel emoji's are on the same level as the advent of video? I don't believe you do. At some point you have to take a look at the specific thing you're talking about and get down out of the clouds.
I have yet to hear a reasonable argument as to why emoji's are better. All I see here is "they're different and can be funny." Ok.
"This helps me communicate" is not a falsifiable claim. You're telling lots of people that they have somehow made a mistake in interpreting their own life experiences. You are not even considering the possibility that something is there, and you just can't see it.
There has never been a way to put images in a sentence as easy and expressive as emoji (all there used to be was fonts like Wingdings), and it’s standardized. That is quite revolutionary.
Communication is rife with ambiguities, emotion, shortcuts, and mistakes. And between people who share friendship or more personal relationships, those “flaws” are often features, not bugs.
The concept of emoji, I feel, embraces those flaws.
(And personally speaking on the subject of emoji vs common text shorthand, if I never see “lol” again it’ll be too soon.)
> (And personally speaking on the subject of emoji vs common text shorthand, if I never see “lol” again it’ll be too soon.)
Funny, I feel the same way about emoji. I dunno, maybe I'm too autistic to get it, but when people use emoji it makes me feel like I'm talking to a child who hasn't learned express themselves like an adult yet.
Pet rocks were wildly popular. Unhealthy foods are wildly popular. Cocaine is wildly popular (well maybe that's a stretch).
I think there's a correlation problem here. However, I think you're missing the point again; _what can I convey via an emoji that I cannot convey in ascii_? I have yet to see a single example, and that's what started the entire debate.
And neither of you tried to address the core argument I made in the parent, that emoji reflect the inherent messiness of personal communications and for that matter personal relationships.
The same reason it’s important (but inefficient) to tell someone you love them in nonverbal ways is the reason emoji are popular. We all appreciate communications that extend beyond the written word. Emoji is just another option among many for achieving that.
And exactly zero people, including yourself, have been able to provide a single gle example where text fails to convey what an icon can. And, you, that was the entire subject of this discussion if you haven't noticed.
Depends on context. If we were discussing someone, it might signal criticism or a desire to party. The fact that it cannot compress losslessly into words is the whole point.
I'd like to see examples of both of these. Specifically how the T-Rex plays a role because, if you take the T-Rex out, we're back to something I can easily convey in ascii.
May I ask if you read fiction in more than one language? There are constructions even in those close to English which I find impossible to accurately translate in a way that preserves the delight of the interaction between their phrasing and underlying meaning.
For T-Rex, two examples:
"I drank too much at the Christmas party.
Not as much as Bob. He puked in the restaurant sink before appetizers were served.
[Dancing eye-rolling T-Rex]"
Happy hour pricing until midnight.
[Dancing eyes-rolled-back T-Rex]"
In the former, the emoji communicates derision. In the latter, playfulness. Depending on the style of animation and context, the emoji could further communicate cuteness versus tactile incompetence, letting go versus a loss of control, subject versus object.
The process of decoding an emoji is analogous to a simplified form of interpreting art. Why is that there? Am I supposed to interpret it using the positive or negative connotation? In some cases, less ambiguity is desired. But in others, the ambiguity itself carries information of a sort impossible to parse into words.
>Not as much as Bob. He puked in the restaurant sink before appetizers were served.
>[Dancing eye-rolling T-Rex]"
Ummmm... Points for trying I guess? You lost me at "person who drank too much == T-Rex"
Very likely less than the amount of different native language speakers who understand the vast majority of your emoticons/emojis.
I suppose you don't care cause you just speak your native language with other people who are native speakers. But a universal language on top of that has huge benefits in international circles. And, my 3 month old understands the :) smile. One of the very first abilities a newborn learns is recognizing faces. That's when they cannot even see a meter far!
I find that difficult to believe. On the other hand, given enough time and global interaction in that medium, it could develop a stable enough meaning across a large enough conceptual space to have a situation no worse than exists between any "standard" language and its various dialects. That'd be interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.
Well, not always universal. Some are generally well understood. They're easy to learn (you might wanna also look into where to start if you're interested in learning many languages; I understood its best to start with an Asian language such as Japanese/Korean/Chinese), and on top of that even allow to learn languages easily (see Memrise and Duolingo who use SVG art to teach languages. They use the same SVG art in different languages!). Even on school when children learn their first words (which are in Dutch: boom/roos/vis/vuur, English meaning: tree/rose/fish/fire) this is done via pictures!
Emoticons and emoji are contextual, yes.
If I say:
That's fun ;) :)
That has a different meaning than:
That is fun :)
That is fun ;)
Different context, yet a wink or smile is universal.
And if I'd write:
Dat is leuk :)
You wouldn't understand it because you don't speak Dutch. But you would understand the smiley. Without using any translator. The emoticon & emoji always describes the text around it, like an adjective (though it could also describe other smileys). As such, it is descriptive.
True, sometimes the emoticons (and especially emoji) explanation must be explained. Once it is explained, it can be used in combination with any language. For example, the kappa emoji  which originates from Twitch can be used on an English stream, but also on a Spanish or Japanese one. Its generally understood within the gamer community, but if you'd start using it within your local hockey club they'd first need to understand the meaning.
> That's fun ;) :)
> That has a different meaning than:
> That is fun :)
> That is fun ;)
> Different context, yet a wink or smile is universal.
Really? Because I can't see any real difference between any of those examples. Does the wink mean you're being sarcastic? Or that you're coming on to me? What purpose does the smiley serve? you already said it was fun, one could presume that would leave you in a positive emotional state.
> the kappa emoji  which originates from Twitch can be used on an English stream
I hate those stupid things so much, probably because I have no context for understanding their meaning and, since its already an english stream, you could just use words! And if you're not speaking the same language as the rest of the stream, you can't express anything meaningful enough to be worth saying anyway.
That'd depend on the rest of the text. It could mean I am making a joke ("not serious" / "just kidding"). It could mean I'm sarcastic. It could mean that I'm trying to hit on you. I think that sums it up (though I'm open for different explanations).
Thing is, back in the days, even in native languages between native speakers (but more so with one or more non-native) sarcasm and jokes weren't always easy to detect. The wink smiley specifically filled that niche! If you don't know about the story behind it, you might find it interesting to look it up.
As for the difference between these, "That is fun :)" denotes no sarcasm, but warmth. Possibly still humor, but its a genuine statement. "That is fun ;)" was covered earlier above and "That is fun ;) :)" is a mixed bag which could go either way (possibly clever to "talk your way out of the meaning" e.g. when trying to flirt but its not well received, or to create some -albeit simple- mysticism around your flirt). That's without knowing the context. The context still matters and is, ultimately, decisive for the meaning.
I have autism, btw, so although I find this fascinating it is rather difficult for me to understand. It took me serious effort to learn the meaning of the different emoticons/emoji (as far as one can know them, since there's so many in unicode these days).
> I hate those stupid things so much, probably because I have no context for understanding their meaning and, since its already an english stream, you could just use words! And if you're not speaking the same language as the rest of the stream, you can't express anything meaningful enough to be worth saying anyway.
(I don't like it either but that's because it is overused in these circles, and it reminds me of my age ie. that I'm not youth anymore.)
The ability to understand a language isn't binary. (See e.g. the example of the wink where language is not being understood!)
Another example coming from my own is I understand some Spanish, some French, some and some German, but I do not want to learn any French or Portuguese, and my German is better than my Spanish but I'm very curious to learn more Spanish. My English is pretty good, as is my Dutch, but I'm only interested in learning more English and Spanish; Dutch not so much. YMMV obviously.
No, we can't. There is an inherent visual component to emojis. A picture worth a thousand words, et cetera.
It's not an abstract idea mapping to an arbitrary icon; without prior explanation, many emojis make sense (within a certain cultural context). Kind of like how we can't replace the essence of giving a friend a gift or a lover a flower with words or an arbitrary icon. Apple understands this in a way few technology companies do.
What a coincidence, the exact same thing is true about written words.
>Kind of like how we can't replace the essence of giving a friend a gift or a lover a flower with words or an arbitrary icon. Apple understands this in a way few technology companies do.
I feel like you're one of those people who would have been way into flaming guitar gifs and midi on your geocities page in the 90s. I mean, seriously? You're literally saying that sending a gif conveys so much more meaning meaning it is similar to giving a gift or a flower than sending a text.
Maybe you're right: https://tinyurl.com/y7xeu7dc
Is that a serious question?
Who cares because that's dumb? Can you tell me what deep emotional state is being conveyed by a T-rex rolling its eyes? I think you lost track of the premise we're debating.
Do you really think this?
I don't really 'get' emojis but I think you're woefully underestimating their impact on communication and language. The emoji library on a normal iPhone is enormous.
>you're woefully underestimating their impact on communication and language. The emoji library on a normal iPhone is enormous
What does one have to do with the other? Yes, there are a lot of dumb icons to chose from. How does that directly lead to "[having a] large impact on communication and language"? If that's true, do you think it's a _positive_ impact?
The emojis serve a purpose. Text doesn't serve that purpose. I don't know how to describe the niche they fill with text. They're not a stand-in for emoticons.
You don't get it. It's okay. Not everything is for you.
So you can't explain it, but it's I who "doesn't get it". Ok then. I'll excuse you for a bit as it's going to take some time to untwist your brain from that logical contortion.
Consider the possibility that this is because there isn't one.
The meaning is immediately clear to anyone familiar with the reference. It's basically a pictographic language that leans heavily on a shared culture that's largely internet-based.
You sure do have some text there.
>> "Why was that so difficult to use words to describe?"
The medium is the message.
The debate is not "are emojis widely used". Yes, of course they are. The question is "opened a whole new way to communicate with each other", which is what I responded to.
I say, no, they haven't. I can convey the same emotions with ascii. I can convey the same emotions with written text. If you want to prove me wrong then fine, but don't re-frame the discussion.
> At best they're just prettier versions of :) and :( and I don't see how they allow people to convey ideas they couldn't do just as well via text.
Never did I say "These are dumb get off my lawn!" I said they don't meaningfully impact or improve communication, which is in direct response to the person I replied to who said that they have "opened a whole new way to communicate."
That's a serious claim, I'd like to see a single coherent argument to show it's actually the case. But, no, all I get are mischaracterizations of what I said.
The debate is not "are pretty things nice", it's "have emoji's fundamentally improved communication".
If the debate is not about how something looks then why was your first instinct to dismiss them as “just prettier versions of :) and :(“?
...because I was responding to someone who said emojis were a new and previously unrealized form of communication! Seriously guys...
You know, you're right; I find myself reaching for a "smashes head against brick wall" emoji right about now.
Oh, damn; I just described that emotion with words. I guess I'm still right.