Time was when you used to “say it” with flowers. But now you can say it with ramen noodles, Japanese curry, sushi, or a man selling ice cream – for a Saturday meeting in the park, perhaps. All these are references to emoji, the latest rage in emoticons for text messaging purposes. And yes, emoji literally means picture + letter in Japanese. A whole library of emoji images is available with iOS 5 for iPhone and the array of iDevices. So what do you do with these emoji images? Well, you use them for texting, that’s what you do. Actually, you would use them instead of text when texting – got that? Unlike the usual smiley face stuff of yesterday, emoji has a range of artistic images arranged according to themes. And since a picture is said to paint a thousand words, well you can just imagine the possibilities.
There are more than 500 emoji characters or images that span the spectrum from a red heart and a broken red heart to finger nails being polished and even an eggplant. Texting the image of a syringe dripping blood could be ominous or useful as the case may be. Then there’s a bikini. All of which means that beyond texting, entire novels can probably be written using Emoji images. Of course, this is nothing new since anime novels have been around forever – well, at least it seems that way. In any case, there is a Tumblr site devoted to “Narratives in emoji.” In one entry 28 emoji images are used to tell the story of Independence Day. This left us wondering how long until we see emoji elevator pitches and PowerPoint presentations among other things.