Book review: The Em馃槀ji Revolution

The Em馃槀ji Revolution is a book by Philip Seargeant that covers far more than I had expected for what most people my age consider a tool for getting pizza, sex, and beer while being misunderstood by anyone over about 50.

So, some things to understand first are that if you’re not prepared for a very well researched dive into emojis which has to traverse around the origins of visual human communication, and you aren’t interested in how written languages happened, you may not be interested in this.

Also if you’re expecting a large quantity of examples of how to use emojis and how they’re used you’re also going to come away from this a little disappointed.

Nary an emoji in sight. Wouldn’t the frog emoji 馃惛 look good next to the title “Ruining the Frog Emoji”? 馃惛

While being a fascinating read on the structures of language, pictograms and iconography, the lack of color and page after page of text without emojis or pictures turn a method of communication that’s generally light and to the point into a bit of a slog.

馃敄 馃槥

I seriously had hoped the Kindle version of the book had the emojis in color (it doesn’t,) because really, that adds something that’s been sucked out by monochrome printing. This is coming from a colorblind man as a note. Take with all due weight this carries.

From the Kindle preview, still kind of drab.
Stickers (such as the wallpaper above,) are discussed, but not as I recall Boomers continually using contrasting wallpaper to text sentiment.

Black and white print … it’s not a great way to represent green alien monsters 馃懢, various shades of princesses 馃懜馃懜馃従, 馃巺, etc…

Pronouns don’t abound

I’m unsure after reading this what use it holds for the non-researcher, although it did get me dreaming about emojis. It’s a lot of very interesting information that just doesn’t lend itself to sounding exciting, but it is. I do realize I sound a bit like Meh’s parents 馃槖 from the unrelated Emoji movie

But for whatever I felt the medium is lacking, the content kept me plugging on. For whatever sections I felt I didn’t get anything to write about I got something to think about. And whatever notions I had about Hieroglyphs聽 being the direct ancestors of emoji were derailed, or at least diverted onto the right track.

If you haven’t ever thought about how some emoji have literal meaning 馃崟, some have dual meanings 馃崋,馃崺, and some combos quite simply are not champagne and peaches (bellinis?) to anyone reading but you, this will give you some food for thought and an ability to discuss why the thing (in this case emojis,) isn’t terrible and how it fits into the world going forward.

Or you can just write ’em off, tell the kids to exit your lawn, wave a cane overhead.

It’s a good read once you get going, and should probably be required reading for communications majors, linguaphiles, and anyone who wants to understand the origins of asking for beer, pizza, and sex by using images.

The 鉃★笍 Emoji Revolution is available on Amazon 馃憤

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts