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Six ???? facts about emoji you probably didn’t know

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Today is World Emoji Day, which means you need to give your emoji a day off, perhaps treat them to a movie and a nice meal.

Okay we’re kidding of course but it is legitimately World Emoji Day so we thought we’d share a few facts about the tiny pictures we send to people when words fail us.

The meaning of the word emoji

The word emoji is a portmanteau of the Japanese words e (picture) and moji (character). The first emoji was created in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita who drew inspiration from manga, weather forecast symbols and street signs among other things.

Oh and the plural of emoji is emoji.

The emoji of the year

In 2015 Oxford Dictionaries named the “face with tears of joy” it’s word of the year.

“This year Oxford University Press have partnered with leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world, and ???? was chosen because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015,” Oxford Dictionaries wrote at the time.

South Africa’s favourite emoji

Research from High Speed Internet published earlier this month revealed that the kissing an winking emoji are the most popular among South Africans.

The world’s favourite emojis. Image – High Speed Internet.

There is an official emoji standardisation board

Perhaps we’re stretching the truth here because The Unicode Consortium isn’t only responsible for standardising emoji but the representation of all text in all software products. It’s quite a job when you think about it.

The Unicode Consortium was incorporated in California in 1991 by Joe Becker (an engineer from Xerox), Lee Collins and Mark Davis who were engineers for Apple at the time.

Moby Dick but in emoji

In 2009 the Herman Melville classic Moby Dick was translated into emoji.

The translation, if we can even call it that, was done by over 800 people who spent a combined 43 days plus translating Moby Dick sentence by sentence. Translators were sourced through Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Each translation earned its translator 5 cents and they received an additional 2 cents per vote for their translation. The translation with the most votes went on to feature in the final book.

You can purchase Emoji Dick online.

There a A LOT of emoji

As of June 2018 there are 2 823 emoji in the Unicode Standard.

This figure includes gender and skin tone modifiers as well components used to create sequences.

When first created there were only 176 emoji.

To give you a better idea of just how many emoji there are take a look at the video below in which Tom Scott shows off his emoji keyboard.

Of course this video is now two years old so Scott’s video is probably missing a few things though it likely includes the gun emoji which was initially removed by Apple before the likes of Google followed suit.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.