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Who Invented the Emoticon and Emoji? (And How They're Forever Changing Written Language)

Who Invented the Emoticon and Emoji? (And How They're Forever Changing Written Language)

By Daven Hiskey

Historically, written language has always been rather limited in its ability to adequately represent the nuance of in-person communication, which comes with a whole slew of gesticulations, facial expressions, subtle shifts in tone and the like. As alluded to, throughout this progression of written language, even through modern times, many of even the most distinguished writers have lamented that the basic written language tools available are insufficient to make the meaning of certain statements and words in the context of a written work inherently clear. One reason for this was a lack of perceived need by the masses, as humans historically used writing very different than conversational speech. So we naturally tend to think, because we see language written so often, that that’s what language is, but actually what language is, is speech. Take that person from 1993…and they read a very typical text written by a 20-year-old today.