Previous “Emoji” posts

Android’s Cursed Emoji Mergers 

Friday, August 6th, 2021

Today, I learned that Android makes it possible to send merged “emoji”, which combine distinct emoji artwork into something new.1 It’s awful! For instance, here’s 🐙 Octopus and 🌭 Hot Dog:

Thanks, I hate it! Apparently, these have been “artisanally crafted”, which means some monster or monsters brought these creations to life by drawing them each individually. For shame.

If you visit emoji.kitchen, you can create some of your own grotesqueries.2 The site doesn’t seem to have all the options offered by Android itself, but it’s got plenty of awful on offer:

A pile of poo emoji merged with a monocle face emoji

Things like this fancy poop shouldn’t be, but that’s the world we live in. I’m sorry.


Footnotes:

  1. I put emoji in quotes because the resulting art is simply a bitmapped image, rather than an inline combination of two real emoji. Nowadays, many emoji are actually made by combining multiple emoji using a “zero width joiner”. For example, the Rainbow Flag emoji 🏳️‍🌈 is a combination of 🏳️ White Flag and 🌈 Rainbow. ↩︎

  2. Speaking of grotesqueries, sure, .kitchen is a top-level domain that should exist why not? ↩︎

Emoji Skin Colors 

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

As a Caucasian male, I stick with the yellow skin tones when it comes to emoji. Given the unsettling recent rise in white nationalism around the world, as well as the countless atrocities of the past, it just feels best to use the default. For others, however, the question may be stickier.

A Detailed Analysis of Emoji Scissors 

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

If you’re interested in which emoji scissors could actually close and cut, this is the post for you.

The Milk Chocolate Emoji Bar 

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

This summer, Hershey’s will be offering emoji on their chocolate bars, so you’ll be able to have a pile of poo both before and after dessert.

A sample emoji bar
Pile of poo not pictured here, but it is one of the 25 that will be included.
[Photo credit: @Hersheys]

If you ever mistook 💩 for chocolate ice cream, well, we’re getting closer.

“In Pursuit of a Red Honda Civic, License Plate Echo-Alpha-Tango 💩” 

Monday, March 4th, 2019

For residents of Queensland, Australia, the future is (almost) now. Very soon, those lucky dogs will be able to add emoji to their license plates.

This could be quite beneficial. Depending on how angry a driver you are, getting the perfect license plate emoji could really save a lot of wear and tear on your own digits.

Emoji Omitted 

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Emoji (and emoticons before them) transform how we understand written language. Now, these symbols are impacting court rulings around the world. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this, however, is that emoji are often omitted from court transcripts.

Still, it’s rare for cases to turn on the interpretations of emoji. “They show up as evidence, the courts have to acknowledge their existence, but often they’re immaterial,” Goldman says. “That’s why many judges decide to say ‘emoji omitted’ because they don’t think it’s relevant to the case at all.”

This seems likely to change in the future.

Lousy Emoji Suggestions

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Since 2016’s release iOS 10, the Messages app on the iPhone has been able to make suggestions to replace text with emoji.


Emoji suggestions for “Happy”, “Sad”, and “Dog”

These are all perfectly cromulent suggestions, and this is a vaguely useful feature, or at least a vaguely enjoyable one. However, I recently noticed that iOS was giving some very flawed suggestions. It started, as these things so often do, with the word “squirrel”.

When typing the word “squirrel”, iOS suggests this:

Upon spotting this, I initially thought “that’s not a squirrel, it’s a chipmunk”. And indeed, a bit of research showed me that the official Unicode 7.0 spec lists the character in question (U+1F43F) as “CHIPMUNK”. Despite that fact, iOS is treating it as interchangeable with the word “squirrel”, which seems flat-out wrong.

Now you can call me old-fashioned, but before leaning in to my outrage, I wanted to be sure of my facts. While the tremendously common Eastern gray squirrel is monochromatic, I had to consider the possibility that some squirrels may indeed have stripes. It turns out that’s the case, and there are indeed ground squirrels that have stripes. Here’s a comparison provided by NatureMapping:

At a glance, it seems obvious that the chipmunk emoji could also substitute for the golden-mantled ground squirrel. However! The aforelinked page informs us that while chipmunks and ground squirrels are both striped, ground squirrels “look similar to chipmunks, but do not have stripes on the head”. Let’s take a closer look at the 🐿️ emoji in question. Enhance:

Enhance…

Enhance!

Oo, that’s a bingo! We’ve got head stripes, which means that’s a chipmunk, not a squirrel. Come on, Apple. Until we get a proper squirrel emoji, you simply need to not suggest any replacement for that word.

When I first spotted this, I thought it was just an amusing one-off. However, it wasn’t long before I saw another problem. While typing the word “sluggish”, I got this suggestion:

OK, come on! Even at the tiniest size, it’s clear that that is a snail, with a massive shell. That’s the biggest difference between a slug and a snail! Here’s the very first paragraph from the Wikipedia entry for slug:

Slug, or land slug, is a common name for any apparently shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusc. The word slug is also often used as part of the common name of any gastropod mollusc that has no shell, a very reduced shell, or only a small internal shell, particularly sea slugs and semislugs (this is in contrast to the common name snail, which applies to gastropods that have a coiled shell large enough that the animal can fully retract its soft parts into the shell).

That makes at least two cases where Apple’s emoji suggest feature is missing the mark. The emoji set is of course incomplete, and always will be. But as it gets larger and more specific, it becomes ever more ridiculous to suggest we substitute in entirely different animals. We all look like idiots here, Apple.

Still, at least we don’t look as ridiculous as this emoji snail. Snails are weird, man.

I’d Love to Read the Internal Bug Report for This One 

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Good news, everyone! In the latest iOS 12.1 betas, Apple has updated the bagel emoji. Last week’s version was monstrously bad. It has now been upgraded to merely “very bad”.

Californians Don’t Know From Bagels 

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Yesterday’s post featured a quality real-world baked reproduction of a logo. Today, we have a terrible digital representation of a baked good. Shield the eyes of your children from the worst image I’ve posted since Gritty.

Apple's awful bagel emoji

Grubstreet has dissected this image, and they’re correct that it looks like a lousy machine-cut monstrosity. But like a duck/rabbit optical illusion, when I look at this, I can also see one whole bagel on top of half of a much larger bagel. No matter what, it’s all awful.

MLB Players Who Can Best Make Emoji Jerseys for the 2019 Players Weekend

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

When I wrote about Brad Boxberger’s excellent emoji jersey, I also contemplated a some simple options for Mike Trout ( 🐟) and Chris Sale (⛵). Since that post, I’ve conducted an in-depth review of all the MLB rosters. I’m now pleased to present my favorite emoji representations in baseball. For those that remember Emojli, this post might alternately be called “The Best Emojli Usernames for MLB Players, if Emojli Still Existed”.

The 17 Best Possible Emoji Jerseys for the 2019 Players Weekend, in No Particular Order

  • 🛡️🛡️ James Shields: Getting to use two of the same emoji really makes this one for me.

  • 🎰 Mookie Betts: I’m actually rather shocked at how few gambling-related emoji there currently are.

  • 🏰 Diego Castillo: You see, “castillo” is Spanish for “castle”

  • ❓ ❔ ❓ JT Riddle: Fans of the campier versions of Batman will surely appreciate this one.

  • 3️⃣ Trea Turner: Ridiculously, Trea (pronounced “Tre”) wears #7 for the Nationals, so this would result in a hilariously confusing jersey.

  • ➡️🐂 Spencer Turnbull: Maybe this one is too obtuse, but think of the satisfaction folks will have once they work it out.

  • 🆕🍓 Jake Newberry: There’s a “New Button” emoji, and by god, we’re gonna use it.

  • 💥👨 Glenn Sparkman: I think the “Collision” emoji can read as a spark.

  • 🤢👨 Robbie Grossman: Meanwhile, the “Nauseated Face” definitely works for “gross”.

  • ⬛🔥 Clayton Blackburn or Paul Blackburn: I’m not sure why there’s a “Black Large Square” emoji, but several players can make good use of it, including these two.

  • 🏹 Chris Archer: This one is a bit fanciful, but I think it works.

  • 🕸️ Tyler Webb: Meanwhile, this one is very literal.

  • 🍸 Nick Martini: It would be impossible to improve upon this one.

  • 💪 Shawn Armstrong: Look at that biceps! It’s very strong! Also, it’s fun to refer (correctly) to the singular as a biceps!

  • 👨🚢 Jeff Manship: These are literally the “Man” and the “Ship” emoji, making this compound very on the nose.

  • 👃 Rougned Odor: Speaking of being on the nose. I know his name is pronounced “Oh-door”, but with a name like that, he really ought to have a sense of humor.

  • 😉 Dan Winkler: Finally, this one isn’t perfect, but the wink itself acknowledges that.

In addition to the above, there are dozens of simple and straightforward options for players with common nouns in their names, like Aaron Judge (👨‍⚖️), Josh Bell (🔔), or Greg Bird (🐦). With so many possibilities, I certainly hope we’ll see more emoji on the backs of jerseys next year.