New emojis are coming your way

Insert a smiley face, clapping hands and a ‘100’ – because a fresh batch of emojis are set to be released. From 21st June, Unicode 9.0 will see 72 new emojis enter the millennial lingua franca.  Telling friends you’ve screwed up, feeling a bit poorly and telling fibs has never been easier now with new facial expressions such as face palm, sneezing face and Pinocchio nose entering the mix. Jazz up brunch invitations with the addition of bacon, pancakes, baguette, croissant and avocado (fried egg in pan and half loaf of bread be damned). There’s even clinking champagne flutes for when celebrations call for more than beer. And animal lovers can embrace the owl, butterfly, squid and bat, amongst nine others. But while this is well and good, diversity remains to be an issue. The inclusion of Mrs Claus and pregnant woman are a nod in the right direction, but males continue to dominate professions and sports. Women remain to be associated with pink tops, princesses and getting their hair cut. Males take the lead on roles such as the police officer, construction worker, detective, swimmer and surfer. In May, Google developers submitted a proposal for 13 new emojis aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace. They noted that young women were the most frequent users of emoji, and that the language needed to embrace that. Their suggestions included a female chemist, plumber and farmer, amongst others, based off labour data and the increasing interest in STEM roles from young girls. It’s expected the outcome of these characters will be known at the Unicode Technical Committee, held in August. Of course, we now enter the rabbit role that only males can have short hair, and that females must all have long hair and side partings. Indicating gender is a tricky field, with only one appropriate gender-neutral face to express our feelings on it…. :/ Whether you’re using emojis in set sequence as a simple form of syntax, or popping them mid-sentence to convey tone and feeling – these days, their usage is incredibly ubiquitous. Be it billboards, social, web films or sculpture, or simply your phone, there is no doubt that language, marketing and communication have irrefutably changed.  

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