I Don’t Speak Emoji…

I am conversant, mostly, in one language: English. I speak a smattering of French, a few phrases in German and Spanish and a couple of words in Mandarin and in Italian. But a true conversation with me can only be held in one language. But there is another language that is becoming incredibly popular throughout the world. It is being adopted by young and old and used with wild abandon. I feel ignorant and uneducated because I don’t speak emoji. I know that sounds silly, I know what a happy face means. And I can figure out what praying hands are meant to imply. But I get thoroughly lost when there is a row of six or seven of these emojis and I seriously don’t know what’s been said.

I have a university degree, several college certificates and many decades of reading almost 100 books a year but I cannot fathom emoji’s. I look at my air conditioner and they’re using universal symbols to explain the workings of the machine. Why can’t they just use on/off. That I can understand. On this device they use a circle with a dot in the centre and a line through the top. What! It looks like a fried egg with a piece of toast standing up on its side. I used the manual to find out what it meant. It’s the on switch. I understand that not everybody around me speaks English and I am all for diversity and sharing but I’m getting a little frustrated not being able to read the simplest things because I don’t speak in symbols.

Symbols are, well, symbolic. They give a deeper meaning to something, perhaps metaphysical or spiritual but the very least, meaningful.   🕰😎🥐🍏☂︎〄🐝  So what did I just say? It’s OK I have absolutely no idea! I was just taking pretty pictures. I admire people who can string together a sentence using symbols. It is a skill I do not own. I’ve always loved how people can read hieroglyphics. Another skill I do not share. I have never been particularly good at puzzles either.

We live in a world that is far too often mired in misunderstandings. Even if we speak the same language, we don’t always understand each other. And because we live in such a fast-paced world, we don’t take the time to find out. As pretty as the emoji’s are, if they make you smile then that’s a good thing.  But if you want to say something meaningful to me, please use letters. Those I can usually decipher, if they’re in English.

   my emoji:  I’m outta here!

48 thoughts on “I Don’t Speak Emoji…

  1. Mark Lanesbury

    Well, if it’s a language I just give what it looks like with love. My usual bunch is this 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋 😂 🤣
    The first is a smile to all, the second is love to all, the third is blessings to all, the fourth is the gentleness and innocence to all, and the next two says I’m laughing with all, and all my interpretations I might add. If its some secret emoticon language I’ve probably been inviting cockroaches to dinner 😂 🤣

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  2. Murphy's Law

    I’m guilty of using emojis here and there. I will use one of the smiley faces at the end of a sentence so the reader knows I’m joking and isn’t offended thinking I was being sarcastic…..as I often am!

    But the use of emojis in place of words is beyond me. Maybe this is the modern day form of shorthand. Beats the hell out of me!

    Remind me not to accept an invitation to dinner from Mark!
    Ginger

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  3. Karla

    Great post (insert smiley face)! When emojis came around I refused to use them. I’m fact, they ALMOST offended me. Particularly when I would communicate with my sons and I got a “thumbs up” when I knew THEY KNEW Momma needed more. We always had rich conversations. When my 68 yr old best friend started using them consistently I told her I didn’t understand her generation, but that I’d quickly learn! I prefer the words. I have found that those that may be a bit uncomfortable with sharing emotions might find an emoji easier to convey something they can’t write. But speaking fully with emojis is like hieroglyphics to me. Fun to decipher at times~yet is not meant to replace words to me. Here are my favorites~💚🤗🙏🏻🐶 and a splash of trees and animals at times! It would be marvelous if there was a universal “power on” and “power off” (haven’t we all learned these the hard way?) but my favorite universal symbol is ❤️. Hugs to you! I appreciate your words always!

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    1. quiall Post author

      Karla you are sweet and I agree with you 100%! I guess if these emojis put smiles on peoples faces that’s what important. But I miss the flavour of words, the cadence, the emotion that you cannot get in an emoji. In my humble opinion.

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  4. Garfield Hug

    Millenials and Gen Z love emojis. Sometimes I have to google what an emoji sent to me means for work. Love your “emoji” of bird taking flight…am impressed you can speak some mandarin! Kudos! In hanyi pinyin…hao! 好! Pei fu! 佩服!

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  5. Dan Antion

    I don’t speak emoji, but I do use them. My daughter has “illustrated” “The Blues Brothers” – the entire movie – in emojis. It’s surprisingly easy to read (if you’ve seen the movie as often as we have).

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  6. Melanie B Cee

    Hold up! You mean people are using those things as CONVERSATIONS? Well I didn’t know that either, I’ve been blissfully going along thinking they were mainly decorative little distractions. A smiley (which is the only emoji I can now use on WordPress…well that and the eyerolll O_o . I guess I’m missing out, but not on much I bet! Very good post, Pam!!

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  7. CarolCooks2

    A language? I use them for decoration and sometimes if they appear for a word but a whole sentence…Hey I can only just about speak a whole sentence in Thai…and don’t get me started on text speak…sigh

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Forestwood

    Great point. The emojis are sneaking their way into our communication. I do like that they are trying to convey emotion that cannot be effectively done with words, but they seem to be extending into replacing words such as Happy birthday by an emoji cake. Where will it end?

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  9. bikerchick57

    I use emojis, Pam, but one or two at a time and never in an emoji sentence that requires deciphering. I like them to ensure that my text or comment isn’t taken out of context, such as a winky face to let someone know I’m only kidding.

    I completely, understand, though, how that can be frustrating, so I’ll take a cue from you and emoji down this week.

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    1. quiall Post author

      Oh don’t stop using them on my account! I just find it frustrating when there is an entire sentence of them. And the frustration is mine not yours. I don’t speak the language. But they are pretty!

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  10. Dale

    I am not fluent in emoji, not by a long shot. I use a very limited amount of them – and only as an add-on, never as a conversation. Bloody hell… isn’t it ironic that we seem to have returned to the Egyptian ages?

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  11. Sorryless

    It’s definitely a generational thing, because I keep my emojis simple and straight forward. I do not ever use an emoji in place of that which must be written in order to understand. Besides, I love words too much!

    Liked by 1 person

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