Boomerang and bubble tea in new emoji release

Language of emotion: the first emojis were created in 1999.

Are emojis better than words? After a new update this month, there are now more than 3,300 emojis. Some people argue that the little icons help us express ourselves better than words do.

What’s happening

What do a ninja, a roller-skate and a boomerang have in common?

They are all brand new emojis released this month. Back on 17 July, Apple celebrated World Emoji Day by announcing it would be bringing out over 100 new icons. Now, they are here, and people can use them to say more than ever.

Find out more

The new update includes lots of popular items from bubble tea to blueberries. Apple has also created images that represent cultures from around the world. There is a piñata and a Matryoshka doll.

Lots of the new emojis are more inclusive. Girls can choose to wear a tuxedo and there is an icon of a father feeding a baby.

Users can also choose stickers showing people wearing face masks. Apple hopes to remind people to stay safe during the pandemic.

Some people think that emojis help us to express ourselves better.

Gretchen McCulloch is a scientist who studies language. She says that emojis replace our tone of voice when we are writing messages.

Others are not convinced. They say real language is best.

So, are emojis better than words?

Some say…

👎 Don’t be silly. Emojis may be useful for making small points but they are nothing compared to a language. You can only use them written down. You cannot possibly use emojis to talk about important subjects. They are only useful for adding to your existing language to speed up chats and to have a bit of fun.

Others think…

👍 Why not? Now that there are more icons than ever, you can share all sorts of thoughts and information. You can use pictures of food to share recipes. You can describe activities and different countries. And think about the Ancient Egyptians: their hieroglyphics were a series of pictures that told complex stories.

You Decide

  1. What is your favourite emoji?

Activities

  1. Write a famous saying or phrase with emojis. See if your friends can work out what it is.

Some People Say...

“People of all ages understand that a single emoji can say more about their emotions than text.”

Shigetaka Kurita, the inventor of emojis

What do you think?

Word Watch

Apple
The company that makes iPhones and iPads. They first introduced an emoji keyboard to their phones in 2011.
Piñata
A decorated papier-mâché shape filled with fruit, sweets and gifts. It is hung up and people in blindfolds try to hit it to break it open and release the treats inside. The game is traditional at Latin American parties.
Matryoshka doll
A set of wooden dolls that can be placed inside one another. Each is smaller than the one before. They are from Russia and are also known as babushka or stacking dolls.
Inclusive
Something that does not leave any individual or group of people out.
Tuxedo
A suit worn with a bow tie for special occasions. Traditionally, they are worn by men.
Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics is a writing system that uses pictures and symbols instead of letters and words.

Subjects

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