Emoji Sky

I made an emoji-sky generator on Glitch with Andrea Gaither and Jez Smith. Andrea is an amazing engineer and made the code actually work and display Twemoji (I think the flatness of Twemoji designs works really well for emoji grid art). Jez swooped in later to tidy everything up (he really cares about code being as efficient and elegant as possible). It's based on the glorious Emoji Garden by Monica Dinculescu.

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Bug Emoji Review

🐛I wrote a bug emoji review, because this emoji is mostly adorable.🐛

I was surprised when I first learned that this emoji was called the bug emoji, because most platforms display this particular emoji as a caterpillar. When someone says "bug," I don't imagine a caterpillar. To me, the prototypical bug has more of a dark bulbous body.

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Gun Emoji Pairings (Part 2)

There's a lot to unpack when discussing the gun emoji. In Part 1 of this series, I looked at the raw counts of hits for various emoji that come before and after the gun emoji. Though that's fascinating in its own right, I knew that ultimately I wanted to filter out the most common emoji and calculate the pairings using normalized relative frequencies to further chip away at the question of what comes before and after the gun emoji. 

I also touched on three reasons why the gun emoji is so interesting to study: it's directional, it looks different across platforms, and its meaning is culturally "loaded." In this post I want to focus on the last of these reasons because it's such a complex issue.

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Eyes Emoji Review

When I learned about emoji reviews, I got very excited. Not only are these a delight to read (I really like the snake emoji review), but they also present a great visual example of how the variance in emoji display across different platforms can lead to miscommunication. 

If you're a person who is sometimes asked by journalists "Will emoji replace English!?" (I am), this is one more example you can point to of how difficult it is to have some sort of universal understanding, even within one Unicode codepoint.

In case I wasn't clear: 🚨Emoji will not replace English🚨

But they are a lot of fun. Here's my first-ever emoji review.

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Upside-down Smiley Face

In June 2015, the Unicode Consortium blessed us with a handful of new emoji including a burrito 🌯  and a cheese wedge 🧀. Perhaps the most think-piecey new addition to Unicode 8.0 was the inclusion of various skin-tone options for the hand-gesture and people emoji, which sparked many interesting conversations about who opts to use the various skin tones and why. Andrew McGill wrote a fascinating piece in The Atlantic earlier this year that explores the question of why white people don't use the white emoji.

With all this going on, it's easy to see why I, and many people, overlooked the upside-down smiley face emoji at the time. I only realized 🙃  existed months after it became a part of my emoji options when a younger coworker IMed me what I interpreted to be the emoji equivalent of the expression "Oh, well." I googled 🙃  and I was hooked.

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