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Fastest growing language: the rise of the emoji :P

Type in "emojis are..." into the Google search engine, and you will find the top three results:

  • "Emojis are cancer"
  • "Emojis are stupid"
  • "Emojis are annoying"

Stupid or annoying, it is how young people community with 72% of 18 to 25-year-olds finding it easier to express their feelings with an emoji than the written language, a survey by TalkTalk Mobile found.

The emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK, and it is evolving faster than ancient forms of communication, such as hieroglyphics.

The original emojis were designed by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 for Japanese mobile phones. They initially numbered 176 designs before rising to the over 1,800 emojis used by 90% of the population today.

Even an emoji movie, starring renowned actor Sir Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji, will be released this summer by Sony Pictures Animation. Tony Leondis, director and co-writer of The Emoji Movie told the LA Times that they seemed like "such a perfect landscape to tell a story.

He said: “As storytellers, we’re always trying to tell stories that really connect with people.

“For millions of people, emojis are how we do that now in our daily lives.

"We have this immediate connection to these little yellow guys that we send out as versions of ourselves.

"Billions of emojis are sent every day to share their love, their frustrations, their happiness, their lives with each other."

Emojis are considered a font or a language, therefore anyone can use them for any purpose without worrying about copyright - as long as they don't directly copy pre-existing ones.

Although young people struggle to communicate their feelings with emojis, a recent study, published in Trends in Cognitive Science, found that their users tend to be nicer people.

The study found those who use emojis regularly are more empathetic, more approachable and socially receptive.

One of the authors, Linda Kaye, a cyberpsychologist at Edge Hill University, likened the use of emojis to facial expressions and gestures.

She said: "It says something about how we're understanding each other and how we're likely to interact with people.

"We mostly use emojis like gestures, as a way of enhancing emotional expressions.

"There are a lot of idiosyncrasies in how we gesture, and emojis are similar to that, especially because of the discrepancies as to how and why we use them."

Whether you find emojis annoying (angry face) or the best way to express feelings (smiley), it is one of the fastest growing languages. If you are struggling for a way to reply to someone, there's probably an emoji for that. Or you could talk to them in person. ;)

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