Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Emoji revealed as fastest growing language in UK

emoji.PNG

It’s official. Emojis speak louder than words.

According to a study by Professor Vyv Evans of Bangor University, who is studying the “speed of evolution” in the use of emojis, it is the fastest growing language in Great Britain.

Those adorable little characters on your smart phone have overtaken ancient hieroglyphics as the quickest evolving language, according to Evans. 

“As a visual language emoji has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to develop,” he said. It’s the “fastest growing form of language in history based on its incredible adoption rate and speed of evolution.”

Evans conducted a survey alongside TalkTalk Mobile that revealed 29% of participants used emoji in half of their messages and 72% of 18-25 year-olds found it easier to express their feelings via emoji rather than in text. 

The Ancient Egyptian language of hieroglyphics

The Ancient Egyptian language of hieroglyphics

Emojis might be the fastest-growing language but, just like real people, they’re not without their complications. The icons appear differently on different devices and internet sites to such an extent that they could almost mean something entirely different depending on what platform they’re viewed on. So, in essence, emoji is in the eye of the beholder.

The telecoms firm has partnered with Evans in the creation of video explainer, Emoji IQ, that clarifies the meaning of the different symbols and when to use them. 

You won't believe the real meaning of some emojis according to Emojipedia.

This sassy lady is actually an information desk girl:

She's so sassy

These praying hands (or high-five according to some) actually mean 'please' or 'thank you' in Japanese:

The much-disputed 'praying' or 'high-five' emoji

This angelic chap is actually bowing deeply in a show of respect:

bowing boy

These jazz hands actually represent openness, or a hug:

jazzy hands

This disappointed face is actually deep in thought:

pensive

This little bead of sweat, not to be confused with the crying emoji, actually means 'disappointed yet relieved':

relieved

And when is an emoji not an emoji? When it’s an emoticon. Previous confusion has surrounded the two and the words have been used interchangeably - incorrectly.

An emoticon is an expression created using punctuation or text, like the old-school smiley:  :-)

Their inception, according to The Guardian, dates back to September 1982 and is credited to computer scientist, Scott Fahlman. They were referred to as “emotion icons.”

The emoji, on the other hand, was born in the nineties, the child of a Japanese comms firm (obvs). The name stems from the Japanese e meaning ‘picture’ and moji meaning letter/character.

Emojis are used in various ways, including for cheeky sex-moji messages that have reinterpreted the aubergine icon entirely (we’ll let you do the guess-work).

Andy Murray even celebrated his wedding day on Twitter using only emojis.

Andy Murray wedding tweet

Whatever our intention, though, it’s clear emojis are the future. But be warned- the BBC recently revealed that adding an emoji to a text message turns it from an SMS to an MMS, drastically increasing the price of your communication.

Here are the top most popular emojis. Use them with caution:

1. Smiley face

2. Crying with laughter

3. Love heart

4. Beaming red cheeks

5. Thumbs up

6. Tongue out winking face

7. Blow kiss

8. Wink face

9. Confused

10. See no evil monkey

Related

phone.jpg

Upcycle your city life with these slick new apps and websites

im worried about the number of people.png

New series of illustrations depicts emoticons for introverts

hero.jpg

The most popular emojis by country, from Britain to Australia

itwasalwaysadress.jpg

The toilet sign that's changing the way the world views women

sleep pods.jpg

Sublime design; take a look inside the UK's most incredible offices

rexfeatures_3762912a.jpg

How to launch a business with a friend, by the women who did it

Comments

More

Always late? Science says it proves something incredible about you…

Good news for all those people who are never, ever on time

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Are you ready for savoury cheese hot cross buns?

Step aside, currant buns – there’s a new baked good in town for Easter 2017

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Oscars 2017: La La Land incorrectly announced as Best Picture winner

The awards ceremony was plunged into chaos following the awkward mistake

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Witches are casting a spell on Donald Trump at midnight tonight

It’s set to be “the largest mass binding spell in history”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

This new yoga class is all about the healing power of gin

Empty your mind… and your glass

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Best friends build community of tiny houses so they can live together

Welcome to bestie row…

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Behold Ikea's incredible flat-pack indoor garden

Bring the outdoors in

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

Successful women “give up” on the idea of work-life balance, says CEO

Grace Bonney, founder of DesignSponge, says that the idea of a work-life balance is “not rooted in reality”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

Woman becomes internet sensation for documenting life as a third wheel

"Love makes the world go round. Unless you're me."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

First Dates is offering us all free food to sit in the background

Couples and singles can both apply

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017