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<   No. 3587   2017-01-09   >

Comic #3587

1 Prof. Jones: Deciphered part papyrus, colon dash close parenthesis, stop. Need contact Doctor Smith urgently, stop. Please send current location, stop.
2 Monty: "Colon dash close parenthesis"?
3 Prof. Jones: If you write down the symbols then rotate it sideways, it looks a bit like a smiling face. It conveys good news.
4 Monty: We have the noble language of Shakespeare and you revert to some sort of crude hieroglyphics?!

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For those who've missed the past few years, the rise of emojis as a form of communication has been nothing short of astounding. With emojis being given increasing amounts of space in the Unicode character encoding standard and more emojis being defined and approved over time, we're only going to keep seeing more and more of them as time goes by.

Several clever or wry commentators have pointed out that human writing systems began with pictographs, and the latest evolution of our language seems to be turning full circle and moving away from the abstraction of alphabets, letters, and words, and back towards a pictographic writing system. This seems either silly, juvenile, or scary to older people more entrenched in their traditional use of language, but younger generations are adopting emojis with gusto.

People have railed against language evolution for centuries and will continue to do so. And language has changed and will continue to change regardless. The best thing to do is to realise that language in 200 years will be unfamiliar and horrifying and frightening to your sensibilities, but that fortunately you'll only live to see the earliest part of that transformation, and maybe it's better to accept that than to get your knickers in a twist over it. 😀

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