From visual emojis depicting simple emotional states, it’s a short step to the more dynamic emotion or reaction gifs, used by certain internet subcultures to respond or react in playful ways to an online discussion. These are gif images, often originating from internet memes, that depict elements of body language that can be too complex for an emoticon to describe. Essentially, it’s an innovative way for speakers to convey a sense of gesture on the internet.
Its earliest citation in the Nexis computer files is from an editorial in The New York Times on Oct. 21, 1984, about the Reagan-Mondale televised debates. ”Tonight at about 9:30,” wrote the editorialist, ”seconds after the Reagan-Mondale debate ends, a bazaar will suddenly materialize in the press room. . . . A dozen men in good suits and women in silk dresses will circulate smoothly among the reporters, spouting confident opinions. They won’t be just press agents trying to impart a favorable spin to a routine release. They’ll be the Spin Doctors, senior advisers to the candidates. . . .”
Some people use emojis sparingly, some with abandon; some are practical while others are creative; even emoji meanings are highly personal—smiley poop comforts my friend, grosses out my mom, makes my sister think of changing diapers. Emojis today are in a similar fluid state as the English language in the 16th century: Anything goes and […]
In the latest Mother Jones, Tasneem Raja argues that “code literacy” is becoming just as critical as reading and writing in education. To understand how we as a society might begin to take it seriously, it also helps to understand the history of literacy itself: Reading and writing have become what researchers have called “interiorized” […]
“First-language loss occurs almost across the board by immigrants’ third generation, Light says. That is, Daniel’s children would most commonly be the ones experiencing this issue, with Daniel as a bilingual father. Factors such as home life, the concentration of an immigrant community and the length of time away from a native-speaking environment determine the […]