As we recently learned, the laughing emoji was just named Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year, “ and, as Oxford explained on its blog, they believe the laughing-crying emoji is “…the ‘word’ that best reflects the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.”
Yes, that’s right, emojis are now officially considered words, and keeping that in mind, we think it’s high time you learned what your most-used emojis say about you. More specifically, about where you live and what culture you belong to.
As the BBC reports, Newsbeat Twitter followers sent in their most-used emojis to be analyzed by linguistics expert Prof Vyvyan Evans from the University of Bangor. Every single example submitted featured the laughing emoji (Just checked my phone, yup, laughing-crying emoji is definitely in my top-used, I am just an anonymous face in the emoji masses).
So, besides the laughing-crying emoji being a major clue that the person you’re texting with is a real human and not just Skynet pretending to be a real human, what else does your emoji use say about you?
Well, where you live, for one thing. Fun fact: the country where the poop emoji is used most is (drum roll please) Canada! Canadians, what are you texting about? Meanwhile, plant emojis are used more in Arabic-speaking countries than anywhere else in the world.
In other interesting emoji geography news, even though we’re using the same emojis around the world, depending on where we live, we could be utilizing the same symbols, but employing them to mean VERY different things.
For example, people in Western culture often use the monkey emojis as an adorable way of saying “Eep! Sorry, my bad!” but anyone who’s even a little familiar with Eastern tropes knows that the monkeys emojis were invented to express “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
The monkeys aren’t the only emoji that got lost in translation. The twin bunny girls are usually used to mean “BFFs” here in the emoji-obsessed States, but the Japanese inventors actually intended them to mean, um, well, a pair of Playboy bunnies. And the shooting star emoji isn’t supposed to be a shooting star, but rather, it was created to convey dizziness. Basically every emoji means something different than you thought it did and all has been lost in translation.
Ready for one more? You know prayer hands? They’re not prayer hands! We know, we know, everything is crazy forever.
“The praying hands are used in a different way in Japanese culture. The original 176 emoji were launched in Japan in 1999,” Evans explained to the BBC. “This is a traditional way in Japanese culture of expressing please or thank you. But of course, in Western culture, it’s often assumed to denote something religious.”
Speaking of hands, Evans posits that people that use more hands emojis than face emojis in their texts could be revealing that they’re more tactile people (I just checked my emojis and I had almost as many hands emojis as I do faces, so I guess I feel things too much and I need to stop putting my grubby hands everywhere all the time?)
That said, what unites us all is our use of face emojis. Man do we people of Earth love our face emojis.
“Globally, about 45% of emoji are happy faces, around 14% are sad faces and a little over 12% relate to hearts of various types, including broken heart,” Prof. Evans told the BBC.”So roughly 70% of emoji usage, sent every day, relates to emotional experience of some kind.”
OK, more emoji research is in order, we need to know ALL the emojis we’ve been using incorrectly, and we’re nosy and want to know what the most popular emojis are everywhere and what it all says about, like, the future of humanity. Social scientists, get on it.
(Image via Shutterstock.)