Are Emoticons the Future of Language?

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PBS Digital Studios - Are Emoticons the Future of Language?
In the digital age, we increasingly use written language in place of face to face chat or phone calls. But the advantages email, chat, and text give us in speed come with limitations in communicating emotional tone. Enter emoticons and emojis. Not just a playful supplement to language, these new tools allow for complexity in tone and emotion never before possible in written language, as well as provide new opportunities for creative expression. Rapidly spreading throughout culture, emoticons and emojis fill a void in written language that few realized we so desperately needed.

Ben Zimmer, Linguist & Lexicographer
Mitchell Stephens, Prof. of Journalism, NYU
Fred Benenson, Creator of "Emoji Dick"