We’re All Using These Emoji Wrong

emoji_percentoEVERYONE HAS A go-to emoji. Mine is something I’ve always called “Swoopie Star.” I use it whenever I want to convey excitement, or when I don’t know what else to say but want to express a general zeal for life. Sometimes I use it as the closest approximation of the “More You Know” gif.

Turns out I don’t have the first clue what the hell I’m doing. But then, neither do you. We’re all doing emoji wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. Good thing the folks at Unicode are here to save us.

More on that in a moment. First, back to Swoopie Star. Turns out it’s actually “Dizzy Star,” and it means exactly what you think it does: It’s meant to communicate dizziness or disorientation. Which means none of this makes any sense:


Dizzy Star is hardly the only emoji everyone is getting wrong. Oh sure, something like your everyday, standard heart or the ubiquitous “Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes” emoji is hard to screw up. Even your grandfather uses those correctly. But what about “Relieved Face,” “Face With No Good Gesture,” or the oft-debated “Person With Folded Hands”? Those aren’t so easy to interpret. That’s why Unicode, the group that has the awesome job of choosing emoji and setting their standards, recently suggested a few changes, many of which are based on the fact people are so wantonly misinterpreting characters. (And for the record, Unicode says the hands are not a high-five.)

Take, for example, the “sleepy face,” which looks like this across various devices (the last image being the proposed change):  >more