/ Technology

World Emoji Day: do you love or loathe them?


The emoji in this image is officially named ‘face screaming in fear’ – would that sum up your feelings about emojis, or are you more of a 😁 kind of person?

Today is, apparently, World Emoji Day – conveniently timed in the build-up to the upcoming Emoji Movie. You may have seen that Patrick Stewart has landed a, shall we say, ‘interesting’ role.

It’s not like emojis are anything new – I remember using them on MSN Messenger in the early 2000s. But it’s only really been since the dawn of the smartphone as an everyday device and, later, WhatsApp, that they’ve seen a real surge in popularity and usage.

In fact, many are even asking if Emoji is the fastest growing language on the internet.

So what is it about adding these little faces to so much of our modern-day communication that has made emojis so universally popular?

Perhaps they can help lighten the mood, change the tone or, in some cases, convey thoughts and feelings you’re unable to get across through words alone?

Having said that, many will rightly point out that we got by just fine for quite a few thousand years without them – what’s changed now that we’re WhatsApping each other, rather than writing letters?
And what better day than today to get across one of my more niche grievances? Emojis display differently depending on what device you’re using.

Mental Floss, a popular culture website, once put together a list of nine emojis that look completely different on other phones – meaning that if you’ve got an iPhone, you could end up coming across completely different to how you’ve intended should your recipient own a Samsung phone.

This is especially important on social media, where tone is everything – the use of an emoji can completely change your message depending on the device it’s being viewed on 🙈

And then there’s the curious case of Emoji numbers. My Samsung phone ends up making tweets such as these rather difficult to understand!

When emojis go wrong


When emojis go wrong

We’d ❤️ to know how you feel about emojis – are you a regular user? Do you think they’re a fun visual aid? Or would you like to see less of them?

Of course, we already have some idea as to how some quarters of the community is going to vote. In January this year, Patrick Taylor commented:

God save us from emojis. They are very disruptive when speed reading as they break-up the letter patterns.

Whether you love them or loathe them, we’re sure everyone will have an opinion.


As George has pointed out, emojis can take on very different appearances depending on how they are viewed. It’s much like the problem of font substitution when viewing files created on another computer. It does not concern me that some contributors to Which? Convo use emojis and I have enjoyed the copious collections of emojis in some of the posts by @alfa.

We could do with a ‘safe’ list of emojis that are likely to have a similar appearance on all devices. 🙂


The variation by device really does frustrate me! It would be nice if they could be standardised – especially the Samsung ones (not a fan!)

Unfortunately that won’t happen though. Did a bit of light reading on this yesterday, and discovered that there are now 722 ’emoji standards’, created after emojis first appeared on Japanese phones.

“Emoji are rendered differently under different fonts, of which the Apple Font used on Macs and iPhones is most ubiquitous. Yet in March the Unicode Consortium issued a new set of recommendations to font artists, such as “make the pouty face more pouty—not intended to depict anger”. Some of their suggestions tackle the fundamental problem of translation: to be understood precisely across different cultures. Emoji 1F62A, named by Unicode as “sleepy face”, is drawn with a bubble from the mouth, which represents sleep in Japanese cartoons, but is often interpreted in other countries as meaning crying or drooling. But removing the bubble will change the interpretation of the emoji in Japan”

Source – The Economist.


That’s disappointing, but the evolution of computer technology has been set back by lack of standardisation.

Patrick Taylor says:
17 July 2017


Language is an interesting thing for conveying both simple and complex messages. My fear is that emoji’s and cryptic initials actually are assumed by the sender to be comprehensible by the receiver.

If it is someone you know then it may make sense. When used to an audience of potentially ten’s of thousands this easily understood shorthand may breakdown . It may actually also trivialise what to some people as an important matter.

Use to friends seems fine elsewhere problematic. Rather like ghetto talk of ho” and movverfu ……. may seem delightfully edgy but really once mainstream in the UK looks pretty ridiculous.


Jane Austen never had this problem.


Had Jane been writing in 2017, I wonder if she would have used emojis with pride or been prejudiced against their use.


I think she would have had the good sense and sensibility to know when it was appropriate to use emotional abbreviations and when they would be inharmonious with the narrative.

Patrick Taylor says:
18 July 2017

“They may have given her the pip” Emma said discussing the emojis. However with a bit of persuasion, love and freindship she and Lady Susan went to see the Watsons.

At Northanger Abi showed them the view of the Park and they glimpsed the owner, Mr Man, in his field.


For our Scottish viewers and those in England who can translate – “Glasgow speak ” -see Parliamo Glesga (Glasgow ) by Stanley Baxter — World Emoji Day- only Glaswegians can relate to these 20 icons : http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/13297142.Only_Glaswegians_can_relate_to_these_20_emojis/