a small digital image or symbol used in electronic communication to convey an idea or feeling
Emoji is a word originating from Japanese to describe a type of ideogram used as a form of pictorial communication in electronic messaging on mobile telephones and internet web pages.
Deriving from the kanji for ‘picture’ and ‘character’, the word emoji is a contraction which can be roughly translated as ‘pictograph’. Emoji should not be confused with the somewhat similar term ‘emoticon‘. Whereas emoticon refers to a typographic display of emotion or facial expression, emoji are actual pictures used to express emotions, facial expressions, activities, objects and animals, among other things.
The widespread use and popularity of emoji has led some analysts to equate the use of emoji to the development of a new language of symbols. Emoji are also constantly developing, with different emoji evolving for different meanings. Emojigraphy refers to a type of structural grammar using emoji as language. There is also Emojipedia, which documents the evolution of emoji symbols, their design and meanings as part of an online reference resource. Jeremy Burge, the founder of Emojipedia, created World Emoji Day in 2014.
17th July marks the “global celebration” of World Emoji Day, when people are encouraged to use emoji on social media platforms. In the past, developers such as Apple, Google and Android have released new series of emoji on World Emoji Day praising gender and ethnic diversity.
1. a small digital image or symbol used in electronic communication to convey an idea or feeling
2. a possible new form of a language using emoticons
Some outlets have claimed that emoji are an emerging language that could soon compete with English in global usage.