Language watch: desultory remarks on emoji, forms of “emoji,” etc.

Language is one of the things we’re fond of here at Je Suis…; we find ourselves resorting to it quite often, in fact. (A character in Tom Stoppard’s After Magritte insists at one point, “Now there’s no need to use language!” We disagree, and besides, she’s talking about something else.) Not long ago, our eye was caught by a particular profusion of word forms, which we forwarded to the editor of the World Wide Words newsletter but didn’t think to post here until now. This is the second paragraph of a New York Times article published in June:

“You know, sometimes you’ve typed a whole message and you realize at the end that you’re entirely lacking in emojification,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering. “So we provided the solution: When you tap on the emoji button, we’ll highlight all the emojifiable words there, and you can just tap, tap, tap, tap and emojify.”

To which a modest response would be 🤔. We’re itching to deploy the 🍆 but fear a misunderstanding.

By the way, we realize that talking about emoji may be like dancing about architecture and that allusions to Pokémon characters are the fashion of the day, but our recent attempt to capture a Charmander at work, very near the editor’s office no less, doesn’t rise to the high standards of reporting and analysis this blog aspires to maintain.

To wrap this up, as we have other things to do: Though much has been done, much remains to be emojified. An expression of wry disdain inspired by Maggie Smith’s character in Downton Abbey may join the collection next year. But copyright issues are likely for years to prevent the emojification of “Keep on truckin’,” which we, for one, would love to have. In closing, we shall content ourselves with this: Keep on emoji-ing.


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