Admit it: even if you’re a language purist that refuses to use acronyms and other forms of texting shorthand, you probably use the odd emoji once every often.
The word emoji comes from the Japanese “e”, meaning picture, and “moji”, which means character. Emojis evolved from the :), ;), ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and other pictograms used in chatrooms in the 1990s.
The first emojis were developed by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 for use on mobile phones and pagers. Kurita’s original 176 emojis have expanded vastly in the years that followed, and have become a staple of mobile communication.
Shigetaka Kurita’s original 176 emoji, which are now a part of the Museum of Modern Art in New York’s permanent collection.
So popular are these little hieroglyphs, in fact, that “emoji” was the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2015. All emojis may be equal, but which emojis are the most popular in different countries around the world?
In 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com surveyed people in 9 English-speaking countries about their use of emojis to find out.
A picture’s worth a thousand words. How often do you use the blowing-a-kiss face? Which emojis do you use the most? Tell us in the comments below.