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Monday, August 11, 2014

A Look Inside The Emoji Craze

"Face Screaming In Fear" is one of thousands of emoji.

“Face Screaming In Fear” is one of thousands of emoji.

You may have noticed that your emails and text messages are no longer so black and white. You can thank emoji creator Shigetaka Kurita for that.

Another 250 of these little Japanese ideograms are expected to be released soon.

Caroline Moss, who covers technology and Internet culture for Business Insider, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the role of emoji and emoticons in our messages — both personal and professional.


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  • DKF

    This has got to be a prime example of Public Radio’s decline. First off, the topic is beneath trivial. It’s hard to believe it is “brought to you” by “people like me.” Second off, Business Insider is simply a junk website, specializing in cheap clicks. To be a “reporter” for such an organization is to be something other than a journalist. And Caroline Moss sure proves that point. “Frontier,” in English, is not a verb, Ms. Moss. But English usage doesn’t seem to be a high priority to Ms. Moss in any event. I guess I should find the correct Emoji to communicate with her. What is the emoji for embarrassing display of lack of substance?

    • MysticVizionz

      I would have to agree, some, with what you’re sayin’ here, DFK. Unfortunately, like she points out re: emoji use, ‘it’s here to stay’, as is, alas, the shallow reporting of trivial topics that aim at the lowest common denominator, to please marketing and management, who are stuck in their belief that the shareholders and the bottom line are more important than any real journalism or truly enlightening public information [Insert Sighing, Eye-Rolling, Disgusted Emoji Here] :(

  • MysticVizionz

    Well, since I’ve been going online since before there was an ‘online’, accessing ‘BBS’ systems via telephone modem at 1200 baud, before the internet became a public domain, I have to share my two cents (inflation adjusted to maybe $2, by now) :P
    Emoticons, Smiley’s, Emoji’s, Emo’s, whatever you choose to call them, they are a nice way to add to the ‘textual expression’ (textuality) used in; chat rooms, Instant Messaging, texting, blogging … or wherever ‘text’ is used in words to express our thoughts … and our feelings*.
    * The ‘feelings’ part is where these little ‘pictures worth 1000 words’ come into play. Text, words alone, do not always convey our meaning, intention, insinuation, or feelings, well enough. So, adding a little >:(, or :P, or :) to our words, sentences, and phrases, can enhance the meaning and convey much more to the reader.
    As anyone who’s been ‘chatting’ or using such textual expression long enough can tell you, there are times when our words and sentences can be, sometimes unfortunately, misinterpreted, and lead to unintentional consequences. However, adding these nice little pictures can also be dangerous, so … users beware! :O
    A thoughtful usage of our words, with some added ‘emoticons’ to add ‘emotion’ to our textual expression, can make the online experience, and these virtual conversations, much more pleasing and allow us to convey a more sensual expression of our thoughts.
    When more sounds and maybe smells (?) eventually find their way into our textual toolbox, just imagine how much more we’ll be able to share in 140 characters, or less :P

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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