back to article OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Emoji are killing off traditional internet slang, according to a probe by Instagram's engineering team. Instagram's just made it possible to use Emoji in hashtags, a feature we're sure you were all positively clamouring for, and did so in response to its users' increasing interest in the cute little characters that add colour …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    I would write a flippant response using Emoji

    but all I see is The post contains some characters we can’t support...

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I would write a flippant response using Emoji

      Thank goodness.

      I must admit, I've never received a message with Emojis in it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I would write a flippant response using Emoji

        I still don't really understand this obsession with what "the kids" are doing. They're just kids, they'll grow out of it.

        I used to think Wham was cool (hence posting AC)... then I grew up. We used to use the word "excellent" (or derivatives thereof) a lot bu we grew out of that too.

        Kids do childish things but they grow up, it's not our jon to try and become like them!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I would write a flippant response using Emoji

          "bu we grew out of that too"

          Unless you are an over-excited US TV presenter and everyone is "bro" or "dude" and everything is "ossum" :-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    X-Files

    I too was abducted and probed by a team of raving engineers from planet instagram that looked like 3D emojis ! Like kitten videos and flappy birds, it's all a conspiracy to control the human race while they sneak in the kitchen and drink your booze.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: X-Files

      No ish not... an' yer outta mayo, too! (hic)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: X-Files

      HA! I'm safe because I keep my booze in the bedroom.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What the hell is an Emjoi?

    Are they what was called emoticons back in my day?

    1. frank ly

      Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

      Yes, but newer, brighter, more relevant and more flexible; adaptable to your lifestyle and aspirations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

        "Yes, but newer, brighter, more relevant and more flexible; adaptable to your lifestyle and aspirations."

        "So, emoticons that are proactive yeah"

        "Oh god yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm"

        "Excuse me, but "proactive" and "paradigm"? Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I'm fired, aren't I?

        "Oh Yeah"

      2. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

        :D

    2. Aoyagi Aichou
      IT Angle

      Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

      As I understand it, they are proprietary sets of animated-or-not emotion sprites that are more or less interoperable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

        They don't seem any different than emoticons... why not just call them omoticons and just offer users more of them?

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

        They have space in Unicode now - that's what makes them interoperable. Mostly. There's a lag between a manufacturer (Usually Apple) introducing some new symbols and the unicode standardisation process.

    3. Mint Sauce

      Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

      What the hell is an emoticon? Are they what we used to call 'smilies' back in my day??

      [shambles off muttering about yoof of today, gopher and ncsa mosaic]

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

        "Are they what we used to call 'smilies' back in my day??"

        Hell, we used to call them punctuation... ;)

    4. ssharwood

      Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

      Emjoi is a purveyor of feminine depilation products. See http://www.emjoi.com.au/

      The spell-checker in our CMS and OpenOffice both passed it

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A survey limited to the environs of Instagram

    And therefore having no measure of usage in the rest of the internet, let alone (for instance) text messaging.

  5. thomas k.

    Is there ...

    an emoji for "because"?

    1. Old Handle
      Headmaster

      Re: Is there ...

      No, but there IS a Unicode character for it. ∵

  6. ratfox
    Windows

    Good

    At least, emojis are restricted to the written word; they cannot be said aloud like "lol". If internet slang dies out, people will have to find proper words to express themselves.

    Of course, we might find ourselves again in this kind of situation: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19991120.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bangles re-release "TXT like an Egyptian"

    Part of the driver could be messenger clients that automatically substitute emoji for emoticons, e.g. Like smiley faces in gmail

  8. Mage Silver badge
    Meh

    Emoji vs emoticon

    I don't even know what most of them mean.

    It seems that Emoji have roots in asian text where smile / happy is

    ^_^

    and western emoticons based on sideways text, but image version rotated

    :-)

    1. Simon Brady

      Re: Emoji vs emoticon

      I'd always assumed that "emoji" was a portmanteau of the "emo" in emoticon and the Japanese "ji" meaning character (as in "kanji", literally "Han [Chinese] characters"), but it's actually a Japanese word in its own right.

      Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (5th ed.) defines it as "a pictorial symbol; picture writing; a pictograph" and gives the kanji 絵文字 (絵 "e" means picture, as in the famous ukiyo-e art style, and 文字 "moji" means written character). According to the Japanese Wikipedia article on 絵文字 the first encoded emoji was the baseball symbol in CO-59, a 1959 interchange code used by a group of large newspapers (carried into Unicode as U+26BE).

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Aoyagi Aichou
    Headmaster

    Panic?

    All of which surely means we're probably not far off a panic about whether kids these days can actually string a sentence together.

    Not really panic, just occasional righteous rage outbursts when reading some particularly bastardized language. But hey, the less people become English-incompetent, the more job opportunities for me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Panic?

      "But hey, the less people become English-incompetent, the more job opportunities for me!"

      Not with the sentence structure you've used there, Matey!

      1. Aoyagi Aichou
        Unhappy

        Re: Panic?

        Q_Q

        I honestly don't know what is wrong with that, but that's why I'm still in the process of heavy learning, heh.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Panic?

          What is wrong? Well...the language is correct but the logic seems faulty...

          1) You wrote "If less people are english incompetent" which is another way of saying " if more people are competent english speakers and writers" Right?

          2) If more competent english writers and speakers and available implies there are more jobs opportunities for "people like you" means then that YOU are english incompetent.

          Which I assume is the very opposite of what you intended to say ! ~~ :-)

          1. Corinne

            Re: Panic?

            Should read "If FEWER people", not less /pedant

            1. Mike 16 Silver badge

              Re: Panic?

              Time to suggest a reading assignment?

              http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/index.php?s=less+fewer

              or TL;DR: "Less/fewer" is one of those peeves made up by folks who like to feel superior to others, and can't be arsed to consult actual grammarians.

              I strongly suspect that Corinne was having a laugh, but couldn't resist plugging the above excellent site.

              As for Emoji on Instagram, I might say "Get off my lawn", but I live in California so I don't have one, and soon neither will any of my neighbors.

              1. Geoffrey W
                Headmaster

                Re: Panic?

                You seem to be saying that the Less/Fewer distinction is always irrelevant, invented by the self superior, but what the author at the other end of your posted link is saying (it seems to me) is a moan at those who apply the mechanistic rule in EVERY situation, even when LESS sounds better.

                In the case above Corinne is correct; it *should* be 'Fewer' not 'Less'.

                I'm going to tempt fate here and post this without proof reading.

          2. Aoyagi Aichou

            Re: Panic?

            Oh? Oh... That escaped me. As always, I blame Monday morning (is there an emoji for that?).

            Thank you for letting me know I made a fool of myself, heh.

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Headmaster

    20,000 years ago, or even earlier

    We started drawing on cave walls.

    60,000 years ago, we used formalised pictograms.

    ~2,500 years ago, syllabic alphabets became available

    ~500 years ago, literature became widespread

    ~200 years ago, widespread literacy became commonplace

    ~20 years ago, communications technology is ubiquitous, offering audio and text

    ~now, we use formalised pictograms

    Time to start digging some caves out, I think...

  12. Tromos

    All very well for LOLs

    Can't see anything for FOAD.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: All very well for LOLs

      Here you go:

      https://www.xkcd.com/380/

      Note the rollover: "... for safety reasons, no font actually renders it"

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      [...] that IFF is a spelling mistake, rather than an engineering term for 'if and only if', [...]"

      To me that has always meant the automatic aircraft identity system - "Intruder - Friend or Foe"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        close

        I believe you mean "Identify Friend or Foe"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder they want to lower the voting age...

  15. x 7

    every civilisation that embraced the use of hieroglyphs has been defeated by invaders. Is this a portent of western doom?

  16. Tom 38
    Unhappy

    "mwahh" is a kissing sound?

    On IRC 10 years ago it meant "I am an evil genius and my plan to take over the world is about to bear fruit."

    mwahh

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: "mwahh" is a kissing sound?

      "I am an evil genius and my plan to take over the world is about to bear fruit." is spelled "Mwuhaha".

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Radio communications

    Users of morse code had various abbreviations from way back. By the time I encountered them in the 1960s there were several groups - most of which I have forgotten.

    They were intended to replace common words for speed of transmission and language independence. Some also became part of verbal exchanges - on air and off. Current day texting has re-invented the idea.

    One set was the formal "Q" codes - with things like QSL, QRP, QTH, QRT.

    Other letter codes like "CQ", "AR", "K", and "KN" were part of the protocol for establishing contacts and regulating replies.

    Three numbers were used to indicate the received signal quality - known as "RST". "Readability, Signal strength, Tone quality" . The numbers also entered the cognoscenti's spoken vocabulary to describe the quality of many things in their lives.

    Then there were the informal abbreviations like "YL" for "young lady" or "OM" for "old man".

    The number pairs are very close to the use of Emojoi. eg "73" Best Wishes, "88" Love and kisses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code_abbreviations

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Radio communications

        It surprises me that I had remembered, and forgotten, so much of the morse code - had to cheat on some letters initially then it gradually came back once the context of the message was becoming clear.

        Only the letters of my call sign and the CQ AR KN sequences are still second nature However - it was 50 years ago that I scraped through the test for my amateur radio licence. Rarely used it in anger afterwards when the new "B" licences made it redundant for the work on VHF and UHF. Ah - the days when 3ghz (or was it still 3gc/s) was decidedly esoteric experimentation with horn aerials - and probably magnetrons ( and not just in microwave ovens).

        One of the radio club members used to recount how, during the war, he had been unable to pass the final very high speed morse receiving test. So his boss sat him down at a table to give him some intensive listening practice. He put a pack of 20 cigarettes on the table - and said "we finish when you've smoked all of them". Apparently it took all night - but it worked. He had a good "fist" when using a speed bug.

      2. Diogenes

        Re: Radio communications

        10-4 big buddy

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Radio communications

          Rubber Duck? Now you've given me an earworm of that trucking song - "Convoy"?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Radio communications

          Good buddy ...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is amazing just how well the yoof of today are responding the the very high standard of education they are receiving (Education, education, education). Why, at this rate the will be able to cope with pictures that have words in them by the time they leave university. They might even be able to speak using words rather than grunts as they do at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Teenagers have apparently always grunted. No doubt the Romans complained about it as much as they did the unruly behaviour of teenage groups in public.

      To study the global phenomenon that afflicts boys when they turn 13 - the Harry Enfield TV extracts featuring Kevin and Perry are recommended. In one apposite moment it shows how an obnoxious boy suddenly becomes a paragon of good behaviour and speech when talking to a friend's parents. Jekyll and Hyde.

      This is how it all starts. Official BBC YouTube.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLuEY6jN6gY

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You mean to say that such a transformation is normal and my archery practice in the back yard had nothing to do with it when a boy came to visit my daughter?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] had nothing to do with it when a boy came to visit my daughter?"

          You sound like the man complaining to his neighbour. Apparently the neighbour's son had signed his name in the fresh white snow. When asked why he was so upset the man said "It's my daughter's handwriting!".

          ***Hint: Double-think in terms of El Reg headlines.

  19. Johnny Canuck

    I like

    the poop one.

    Regarding youth in general, well, the more things change...

    “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

    Socrates

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like

      A few more historical quotes

      http://www.anxietyculture.com/antisocial.htm

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I like

      So, nothing's changed?

  20. jake Silver badge

    Hey, instagram ...

    ... PDFO. Ta.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprised that nobody has pointed out

    ...how idiosyncratic online communities are, which should make one wary of extrapolating to the internet at large.

    E.g., should one draw conclusions about the prevalence of the term "commentard" across the internet based on a sample obtained at the Register forums?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    regarding the inability to string together a sentence

    Nothing has changed. People either care, or they don't. There's not much you can do to fix the problem, except perhaps by using mass executions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: regarding the inability to string together a sentence

      > There's not much you can do to fix the problem, except perhaps by using mass executions.

      Honestly, I am not sure how multithreading can help here.

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