Emojis are already commonplace in modern written communication. They are used when exchanging messages through SMS, email, online messaging, social media, and more. Not many may know, though, that emojis enhance communication. They are not just some cute little graphics that serve as ornaments on messages.
How emojis help convey written thoughts
Emojis can serve important purposes in communication as they have the ability to amplify a message, set the mood, or make readers think more than how they would if they just received a message in plain text.
1. Setting the tone
Emojis may signal levity, but they do not necessarily make communication childish or “lacking in class.” It is now acceptable to use emoticons in work email or Internet-based communication as long as it is not overused. Occasionally adding one or a few emojis to work-related emails is not deemed unprofessional. Many companies are already doing it especially when the email is not really about serious matters.
The use of emojis can help set the mood for someone reading a message. It can indicate bad news but cushion the impact at the same time. It can emphasize the happy feeling of a positive announcement. In a way, the emoji serves as a reflection of the face of the person who wrote the message. A smiley emoji could indicate the gleeful state of the writer while writing the note. On the other hand, if the writer was angry, frustrated, or irritated, the appropriate emojis could be added to make the point to the reader.
Emojis tend to be the first thing a reader notices upon seeing a message that fits in a single page (without scrolling down). They are too conspicuous to be ignored. That’s why they effectively serve as the tone or mood setter. Once the readers see them, they likely immediately have an idea of what to expect in the email, text, or IM they received.
2. Reinforcing the meanings of messages
A 2008 study published in the Social Science Computer Review, entitled “Emoticons and Online Message Interpretation,” found that emoticons bear an impact on the interpretation of a message.
Emoticons and emojis, by the way, are interrelated and are almost the same in present use. Most popular messaging platforms automatically convert emoticons into their corresponding emojis as they are typed. Emoticons are typographic while emojis are images or graphics, but both present the same purpose and evoke the same reaction.
Going back to the study, the researchers concluded that emoticons can enhance the intensity of a message. They found that a positive message was rated more positively when a smiley was added to it, while a negative message was perceived to be more negative when a frown emoticon was appended to it.
3. Indicating emotions beyond what words can express
Another way emojis help convey written thoughts is by being better than words in conveying emotions. Not everyone can sense emotions by reading words or phrases. However, almost everybody can perceive feelings out of visual representations. It only takes a quick glance at an emoji to know the emotion it is trying to convey. Not everyone is familiar with idiomatic expressions but many instinctively know what the smiling, grinning, tearily laughing, cringing, angry, worried, spooked, frustrated, sad, confused, and several other emojis mean.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that emojis are better in expressing emotions than internet slangs such as LOL, ROFLMAO, and PMSL. These words supposedly express extreme feelings, but they don’t always come off as such. Readers know what they mean, but they are unlikely to evoke the same reaction emojis do. It’s even funny that they don’t sound what they mean when they are read out loud. ROFLMAO what? The way the word slips off the tongue does not sound like someone’s rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.
4. A new way to abbreviate
There are instances when you are forced to abbreviate because of word count limits. When using Twitter, for example, you have to make sure that you write as concisely as possible, so you don’t go beyond 280 characters. However, there are many times when you still run short on your character allowance. Abbreviating some words is an option, but it may not be enough and you still fail to complete the thought you want to write as you no longer have enough space.
For this, it’s a good idea using emojis to represent words. Instead of the awkward approach of taking away vowels from words (to shorten them), you can replace entire words with emojis. Many words can be substituted with emojis, from animal names to food products, body parts, places, and even events or phenomena. You can reduce the number of characters you need to spell out a country, for example, by using the emoji flag of that country.
5. Conveying indirect messages creatively
Emojis can be used to write indirect thoughts in a creative way. Think of instances when you want to insult or curse someone, but you don’t dare to do it. You can spell your profanities out with emojis. Take a look at examples here. This is not to encourage cursing but to demonstrate the versatility of emojis.
For the uninitiated, emojis are not just expressive yellow faces. The current lineup of these ideograms and smileys includes a wide range of images. There are animals, zombies, fruits, vegetables, food items, structures, people representing different races and professions, weapons, shapes, logos, and various objects. There are 2,823 emojis in the Unicode Standard at present, and this number continues to grow as device vendors such as Apple introduce new ones every year. You can choose from this expanding collection of tiny images the right emoji to represent the thought you want to spell out in a concealed manner.
It’s like crafting a less complicated rebus. You just have to arrange emojis in one line to be read from left to right. It’s an excellent way to exercise your mind and the brains of those who want to “decipher” your message.
6. Making signs and displays more noticeable and engaging
Emojis are not only for emails and texts. They can also be used in traditional signs and displays installed along roads or in buildings. It’s not just about using them to appeal to millennials or the younger generation. They serve palpable purposes.
The adding of emojis can make signs more noticeable. It’s easy for a sign to become obscure when there’s myriad of them displayed on the same spot. This is particularly true for signages with nothing but texts in them. Adding a simple smiley can attract attention and create a sense of warmth or invitingness. It can add “personality” to plain words.
Emojis can make signs stand out unless every other sign in the same location bears these ideograms. Because of their familiar and relatable appearances, they are generally conspicuous, drawing in the attention of passers-by to the signage of a business establishment. Likewise, they help attract eyeballs towards important instructions, announcements, or notices. “Post no bill” or “Don’t throw your trash here” notices, for example, can be made more emphatic by adding an angry emoji in them.
7. Being better than textspeak
Emojis enhance communication without threatening languages. They are a “harmless” supplemental form of communication that can be considered better than textspeak. The use of emojis does not result in the development of bad communication habits such as the excessive abbreviation of words or the use of terms not present in established dictionaries (when using textspeak). Many tend to carry these unwanted habits over to settings where formal writing is required. Some even fail to spell words correctly as they get too accustomed to SMS or online chat language.
In a way, emojis help convey written thoughts without adversely impacting the communication skills learned from school, dutifully honed by teachers. Nobody has become a chronic violator of grammar rules, proper spelling, and correct word usage by being a regular user of emojis.
They may appear as a useless creation with the role only of making text messages fancier, but emojis help convey written thoughts and have the potential to make communication better. Thoughtfully used, they can intensify messages, set the tone of conversations, and promote a creative and mindful way of communicating. What makes them even better is that they defy language barriers.
Emojis are universal in the ideas or messages they convey that you can send them to recipients who use different languages, and they remain understandable. However, you can’t always rely on them for communication. There are still many instances when you need to use texts with certified translations especially when it comes to business correspondence. If you need language services, don’t hesitate to contact Day Translations, Inc. via telephone at 1-800-969-6853 or through email at Contact Us. The company is open 24/7 year-round to accommodate inquiries or to arrange the language solutions you need.
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