Banned: Emojis. Yeah, you heard me right.

Warning: I’m a little emojinal today.

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Emojis.  Emoticons.  Pictographs.  They’re cute and cuddly like a little bear cub.  And like a momma bear defending its cub, you may want to want to lacerate me after I inviscerate these beloved texting cartoons.

Emoji comes from the Japenese word e for “picture” and moji for “letter” or “character”.  I always thought emoji was a derivative of the word “emotion”, because back when emojis were just faces showing different expressions, that’s what they conveyed – emotions.

In those days, if you were sending a passive-aggressive text message, you could add a smiley face to make sure the person took it as passive-aggressive and not fully-aggressive.

Great. Grand. Lovely. Wonderful.

When I sent my first SMS (Short Message System) message, aka, text message, it was somewhere around the turn of the millennium.  I didn’t even know my phone could do that.  I was just flipping through the options and I discovered the feature to type a short message (without a keyboard), using something called T9 predictive text.  I sent a text to my buddy who was in the next room:

“vancouver sucks”

It was in reference to his favourite hockey team.  This caused a series of messages insulting each other’s hockey team (among other things).  We were very mature in those days. I still remember the reaction of his female roommate:

“You guys are nerds.”

That part was true.  We were nerds.  We got the same reaction from all the females in our social group at the time.  They thought SMS messages were lame.

Fast forward to the present.  The women were right.  Text messaging is lame.

It’s usually lame, I should say.  The first ‘S’ in SMS stands for Short.  As in, Short and Sweet.  If you keep your message short and to the point, that’s actually somewhat useful.  Some of my friends don’t understand this and would like to have a conversation the length of this blog post via text message.  Not cool.  The less time I stand in the dunce corner, staring down at my screen, the better.  So if I text, which is hardly ever, I keep it short.

“Now just a minute there, Sheep.  Earlier you alluded to a dislike for emojis, but in fact, they can help you achieve your goal of writing shorter texts.”

While that may be true, I am a big fan of not bastardizing our language.  So I usually type things out in full.  My version of LOL is “Ha, ha”.  It’s even more accurate, for when one types LOL, one is not usually laughing out loud.  One is more likely having a light chuckle.

“Holy fuck. Please lighten up.”

Maybe I should.  But have our emojis not gotten carried away?  We have an emoji for poop for godsakes.  My boss at my first job once witnessed me ignoring customers in order to get my work done.  He reminded me that I should talk to the customers and that doing so is easy.  Why?  Because the English language has so many words to say the same thing.

Poop can be shit, caca, feces, turds, dung, excrement, dirt…  I am sure we can all think of many more.  Now we don’t need to.  We have a picture to do it for us.  A steaming pile of poo.

Speaking of poo, I was reading the “news” today.  I like to keep abreast of new technology, so this morning I was checking the technology pages when I came across the article that started this whole rant in the first place:

Google aims to be more inclusive with gender fluid emojis

I think some people may want to stop emoji-ing for a second and check that dictionary-thingy for the word inclusive.  Here, I’ll do it for you:

inclusive: including or covering all the services, facilities, or items normally expected or required.

Being the proud owner of a cellphone, there are certain services I would expect or require.  Having access to a pictogram that exactly matches my “genderless” face is not what I would consider a required or expected service.

According to the article, “Designers spent a considerable amount of time determining how to create genderless emojis”.

Wow, I’m glad they had their crack design team on such an important project.

Are there not any breakthroughs in Quantum Physics we should know about today?  Why is this the top article on the technology news page?  Is it because the news is brought to me by Google and they want everyone to know what an all-inclusive company they are, or is it because they weren’t mining enough data from the gender fluid, non-binary community?  I don’t know.

“The gender fluid emoji has hair that is long in the back and parts in the front”.

Um… That does not sound like a genderless hairdo.  Is this not just a hairstyle known as a mullet?  I’ve seen both male and female people with this identical hairdo, so what did the genderless emoji design team do exactly?

They created fifty-three more emojis to clutter up my phone.  And thank God for that because I was losing sleep at night trying to decide which “mer” character to text to my genderless friends.  I mean, I could never decide between the short-haired, shirtless merman, or the sexy, long-haired mermaid with her seashell cup brazier.  Fortunately, now I have a third option, with arms-crossed over the chest, and a hairdo like the main character in the LEGO movie.

In related news, I solved the mystery of why my cellphone needs a two hundred Megabyte update every night.

But with great inclusivity comes great responsibility.  If you have the new emojis and you send them to a phone without them, they will be converted into a male or female icon that is supported on that phone.  So, be careful.

Don’t worry.  According to the article, Apple may follow suit and create such emojis in the future.  They better, if they want to stay hip with the Millenials.

I have a better idea.  Let’s get rid of all emojis so that no one feels left out and we can resume conveying our thoughts through those dictionary word thingies again.

22 thoughts on “Banned: Emojis. Yeah, you heard me right.

  1. Surely the basic yellow-faced smiley emojis are “gender-fluid”? There’s nothing about them that says Man or Woman. I don’t get it.

    But yes, emojis in general could be banned and I wouldn’t mind. They do for our communication and vocabulary as big picture books do for our literary consumption. It’s a new cycle of life where you graduate from large picture books as a toddler to the printed word…but instead of running with the beautiful English language, we decide to throw it all away and regress back to pictures again.

    Don’t even get me started on people who think it’s necessary to send a row of eight smiley faces at the bottom of a message.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are totally right. The original smiley has neither male or female characteristics. The Hinoeuma and Jennifer Mugrage noticed that as well. It went right over my head…
      If you want to see a real abuse of emojis go onto the official Donald Trump Instagram page. The people in the comments section love their emojis (mostly American flags and middle fingers) but their command of the English language is not that good.

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  2. A round circle with two dots & a curved line is about as genderless as you can get. Did you read the original article that it was linked to? I just learned about the Unicode Consortium. Emoji research requires its own thinktank.

    My first thought was “Theatre of the Absurd” BUT…all language did start out as pictographs before root ‘words’ were developed. Rune stones, ancient Egyptian, the Mayan calendar… A picture of a tree is more universal than a library of Latin terms covering species, genus & family.

    Instead of 53 gender fluid emojis, I want ONE emoji…the middle finger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s one in the book of Revalation. Chapter 7, verse 1: After this I saw four angels standing upon the four corners of the earth… Sounds like a square circle to me.

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      1. In Dubay’s case, his Blogger site is 11 years old. Blogger is programmed in Python, not PHP like WP. Not the same functionality. You can’t follow a Blogger site or ‘like’ anything. They are very stripped down. And, migrating data is a BIG BITCH. I can’t speak for the Sargent guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know your stuff. I’m thinking of upgrading WordPress so I can start writing my own CSS and make my site look a little better. What do you think?

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      3. I’ve lost 90% of my CSS knowledge. If you don’t use it…

        GAH. WP has five levels of blogs, now. And, they aren’t totally free, anymore. Now, they are ‘free to try’.

        Depends upon what you want to accomplish. And, any CSS tweaking isn’t going to show up in the Reader. I’m fighting not going to that damn block editor. I am quite happy in the regular Admin. panel. It’s hinky, tho. Proofreading abilities have been removed & scripting will hang up, sometimes…like, you suddenly can’t type apostrophes, as if keyboard key stopped working…or an ampersand won’t work…or a youtube link without short code won’t work.

        There are several bloggers that, their sites render funny in the Reader (code bits show up in strange places).

        Blog types, now, are: $3 mo. for a .blog site, $5 mo. for personal (whatever that means), $8 mo. premium (what I have), $25 mo. business and $45 mo. eCommerce.

        What do you want to do?

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      4. For CSS – I wouldn’t write my own – I would use bootstrap.

        The Reader kind of sucks for a lot of things. It’s very buggy and inconsistent for me. It is a handy tool though.

        I just want to make the site more visually appealing, for now. Then I want to focus on more traffic.

        I pay for the personal tier. I get the blog and the domain name. I can’t use CSS or monetize anything.

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      5. I’ve never heard of bootstrap. I used to hack out CSS on Notepad2…way back when.

        The next tier from personal is mine…premium. You get all the themes free…dozens of them. You can monetize.

        Are you hooked into FB, Twitter and all the other social sites? That will bring in traffic. Are you registered with Google, Bing, Yandex &…I think, Pinterest? Can’t really remember the fourth one.

        The phone app…I rarely use it to post anything. It screws up all the HTML. I just read & comment. I post on my PC or laptop.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Bootstrap is cool. It’s a library of CSS that you can download, or point your website to. It has a really good documentation. Let’s you get up to speed quick. The only downside is that you can almost always recognize a bootstrap-designed site. But it looks clean and works, so why not?

        I only write short poems on the WordPress reader app. Everything else I need a computer.

        I hate social media for the most part, so I’m not hooked up on Twitter and all that. I have an Instagram account because I like taking pictures. I should get up and running with all those apps, but I want to spend my time writing, not interacting on social media…

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      7. Bootstrap sounds interesting.

        I can’t stand social media, either. All I did was register my site with the above four. I have slower traffic, tho… I have FB account but, rarely sign in.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. The ancients conceived of the heavens as a dome, sometimes held up by four pillars, sometimes with a mill involved which the gods turned and could break at times of disaster. Graham Hancock calls this a mental tool that they used to help represent the processional cycle of the constellations. I don’t know if they literally thought there were four pillars out there somewhere.

        Weirdly, this is also echoed to some extent in Navajo cosmology. They are big on the four directions.

        Liked by 1 person

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