The Emoji Epidemic: Should we be concerned?

Emojis, also referred to as emoticons, seem to be taking over our lives in every way possible at the moment – these small digital icons are dominating our electronic communications and even filtering into the spoken language.

And it seems they’re getting more popular by the day, with it recently being announced that another 250 emojis – on top of the seemingly infinite amount which already exist – have been created for our use. These include a black droplet, a wind blowing face, and a left-hand telephone receiver.

It’s no secret that in the world of texting, Facebook and Twitter, grammar has essentially been thrown out of the window and emojis are all the rave. Half the time there’s no need for any kind of typing or written speech to even be involved in a message, just a quick smiley to convey your feelings (and I am guilty of this myself). Some people are going as far as taking emojis out of their digital environments altogether and using them in the spoken language, with one individual recently admitting to saying ‘QQ’ when referring to the emoji which symbolises a crying face!

Surely our written language has been made informal enough with ‘txt tlk’ creeping into our emails and into school work, let alone the development of acronyms in our spoken language as a way of communication – think of all the new phrases we’d have to learn!

In my opinion, even with an emoji infestation, good grammar will never disappear (unlike the ‘long s’). It is evolving (read Hannah’s recent blog on the ever-evolving English language here). However, we have to accept that there’s no way the next generation is going to use grammar like we do now. Young people are growing up with technology that we have had to adapt to, and are growing up in a society that is way more relaxed about English language than we could ever imagine :)

We’d love to hear about your emoji experiences and stories, so do share them in the comments form below.

By Sammie Williams, Intern

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