Selfie and face palm could be emoji in 2016
38 New Emojis, Including Bacon, Selfie, and Man Dancing Will Be Released in 2016, But There’s Still No Taco.
The Unicode Consortium released a new list of candidates, which could be added as emoji in Unicode 9.0. These include the long-awaited bacon and avocado emojis, selfie and facepalm emojis, and it looks like the dancing girl has got herself in the family way (but it’s okay because they do the red dress in the maternity section too.) Clearly, the Consortium has been been listening to what users want as many of the new images top the ‘most wanted’ lists.
These symbols are considered for incorporation into Unicode for reasons such as compatibility usage, popular requests from online communities, and filling the gaps in the existing set of Unicode emoji,” Unicode said. “Although it’s uncertain which of the 38 — if any — will be officially selected, the recommendations (first reported by Yahoo Tech) give us hope at creative, quirky conversations in 2016,” tech site Mashable commented. Not all of them will appeal to everyone, but some of them look pretty important: “shrug,” “rolling on the floor laughing,” “motor scooter” and “clinking glasses” are going to get pretty high usage, I’d imagine.
Unicode Consortium announced there will be 38 new emojis added in 2016, and while we are all very excited to utilize the selfie and shrug, there’s still no taco… According to Yahoo Tech, the company based in Mountain View, Calif., finalized the latest string of emojis after Unicode Consortium’s subcommittee submitted them to members for a vote of approval. The new characters are also set to address ‘unpaired gender specific emoji’, so we will get a prince (to complement the princess), Mother Christmas (to join Father Christmas) and a man dancing. Some were also chosen to “address unpaired gender specific emoji,” according to Unicode, such as the “Man in Tuxedo” (a pair for the Bride), the “Prince” (a pair for the Princess), and “Mother Christmas” (a pair for Father Christmas). The news comes just a month after the unveiling of Unicode 8.0, which updates the existing emoji set with varied skin tones, a taco, and a unicorn, among many other symbols.
There are also six food items on the list; potato, avocado, bacon, cucumber (which is also intended to represent pickle), carrot and croissant (described on the Unicode list as a ‘popular food item in France and other European countries). As well as shiny faces that gush shiny tears, emojis run to little pictures of guitars, aeroplanes, DVDs, bikinis, pills and cocktails with umbrellas in them. Professor Vyv Evans, from Bangor University, claims the group of smiley faces and symbols is evolving faster than ancient languages such as hieroglyphics. Others are there to reflect existing characters used on platforms such as Yahoo Messenger. ‘For bird emoji specifically, Cornell University Lab of Ornithology was consulted,’ said Unicode.
You begin to divine the sort of world we are dealing with. (Australians – regrettably – are world leaders, research shows, in a taste for alcohol and drug-related emoji.) I would like to say in a loud voice, without the aid even of an emoticon, that emojis do not make up a language and, more than that, they are a bad sign. Emoji make it much easier to type and access what were once some pretty arcane and difficult-to-decipher emoticons. (I remember typing half of those on Usenet in the 1990s.) They’re a popularization as much as an innovation, building on decades of Internet communication. Eight out of 10 people in the UK have used the symbols and icons to communicate, according to the Bangor University report, with 72 per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds adding that they found it easier to put their feelings across using emoji than with words. “Smiley face” is the most popular emoji symbol, followed by “crying with laughter” and “love heart”. “Beaming red cheeks” and “thumbs up” also make it into the top five. Facebook’s Pusheen and Line’s stickers—basically, proprietary emoji—are just another form of lock-in, trying to get you to speak a language that’s owned and operated by one for-profit company.
The shruggie is much more evocative than just “shrug.” The “100” emoji, with its dynamic form and evocations of both a teacher’s red pen on an exam and corporate faux-enthusiasm, holds more shadows and reflections than just “100.” Interoperability is also just plain key for something to go truly viral. If we had to carve everything in stone, or even paint hieroglyphs carefully on scrolls of papyrus, there would be fewer face-covered-with-hands moments of embarrassment when a hurried email, tweet or text has said the wrong thing to the right person or worse, a true thing to the wrong person. This is not Idiocracy, and for that matter, to say emoji lead to Idiocracy is to say that people aren’t using them as multivalent ideograms or enhancements to ASCII text, which they are in fact doing.
More categories could help, but for instance, I have trouble seeing how a lot of the “symbol” emoji are usable in the West, and that’s a large category, accounting for 164 emoji. James’ horror story Casting the Runes, one of which “showed a great mass of snakes, centipedes and disgusting creatures with wings, and somehow or other made it seem as if they were climbing out of the picture and getting in among the audience; and this was accompanied by a sort of dry rustling noise”. We are not quite sure what the bison and aurochs of Altamira and Lascaux mean – but have any expressive icons excelled them artistically in the 15,000 years or so since?
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