Why so emojinal?

Why so emojinal?

What’s your favourite word?

Picking just one feels rather like being asked to choose your favourite food or song – too many to choose from!

One of my favourites is “serendipity” because it means fortunate happenstance – also excellent words.

Paired with careful phrasing, the power of words knows no bounds.

The legacy embedded in these four words: “I Have a Dream,” shows that words, both written and spoken, can enrich our lives far beyond their basic communicative function.

Words stir our senses, feed our imagination, inspire us to action and play a pivotal role in preserving iconic moments of humanity.

Words are wonderful things and it’s because of their power, beauty and significance that I have a loudly buzzing bee in my bonnet over the steamroller invasion of emojis and emoticons across contemporary social discourse.

With the Global Language Monitor reporting that the top English ‘word’ for 2014 wasn’t actually a word, but a heart emoji, could our language be at risk of reverting back to ancient hieroglyphics?

There’s a high chance Queen Cleopatra would have had someone mummified for sending her a steaming poo or aubergine icon, and I too share a similar level of objection (seriously, what’s with the aubergine?!)

Scroll through any social media newsfeed and it’s ‘fist pumps’ followed by ‘crying laughter faces’ followed by ‘monkeys covering their faces with hands…’


Sure, I enjoy an occasional love heart or smiley to bring a post to life, but when my newsfeeds are splattered with a hail of emojis and very little language, I can’t help but wonder, where’s the originality? Where’s the creativity? Where are the words?

Yes, a picture can paint a thousand words and there’s no denying that emojis help keep communication succinct (their chief purpose I believe!) but their overuse in places where once there were words surely stifles the rich potential of unique individual expression?

My view on the quite frankly lazy overuse of emojis reminds me of when my Dad used to tell me off for swearing:

“How boring! How unimaginative!” He’d say…

“Anyone can use that. Say what you like, but at least be creative!”

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