July 17 – World Emoji Day

Posted on July 17, 2016

Some people joke as they tweet or post, today, “Wow, I have been waiting ALL year to use these emojis:”

That's because Apple products have a calendar emoji that looks like one of those page-a-day calendars for July 17.

Of course, you can use this emoji whenever you want to refer to a calendar—not just today!—but the emoji DOES have a specific date. And that date is today's date: July 17.

NOTE: Not all emojis are the same. The emojis I showed above are from Apple products such as an iPhone. Twitter's calendar emoji says July 15 (Twitter's birthday),  and Google's is just the number 12. Other calendar emojis show monthly calendars instead of page-a-day calendars. Emojis just are not the same everywhere, on all devices!

Why does Apple's calendar emoji show today's date? July 17, 2002, is the date that iCal premiered at a conference. 

By the way, I have seen some people calling July 17 International Emoji Calendar Day rather than World Emoji Day

A short history of emojis

Emojis are icons with meaning. They are ideograms – tiny little pictures that symbolize facial expressions, weather, activities, animals, objects, or other ideas.

The word emoji comes from the Japanese “e” - which means picture – joined with the Japanese “moji” - which means character.

Emojis were first introduced to the world on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s. They really took off internationally when Apple released an iPhone and an iPod Touch with an emoji keyboard. Soon Android offered emojis as well.

Of course, with every device and every app offering its own version of emojis, and with manufacturers changing their emojis whenever it suits them, there can be problems with miscommunication. For example, all these dancers have a different feel:
Dancer emoji from Unicode, Apple, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft

If you choose one that looks right to you, for your particular message and message recipient—you should realize that he or she might see something entirely different. Maybe something entirely inappropriate, confusing, even insulting!

I think the Microsoft dancer on the far right could be chosen by someone to mean “I'm so freaked out right now.” But if the recipient gets a flamenco dancer in a red dress...well, the message certainly changes, doesn't it?

What's the difference between an emoji and an emoticon and a smiley?

An emoticon is a representation of a facial expression using punctuation and/or letters and numbers. It is generally used to express your mood or change the meaning of a sentence. For example, words that seem insulting gain a lighter, more humorous attitude, either sarcasm or fond teasing, when coupled with a face with a huge grin and another face with a wink:

:D   ;)

Notice that you generally read emoticons sideways.

Scott Fahlman first used the emoticons :-) and :-( in 1982. The word emoticon is a portmanteau of emotion and icon.

Many emoticons have been created, including:

surprised face :o 

angry face >:( 

sticking-tongue-out face :p

A style of emoticons popularized by Japanese people are called kaomoji, and they can be understood without tilting one's head. They also sometimes contain arms or ears:

(x_x) for stressed out

<( ^.^ )> for cute anime-looking face

\(^o^)/ for lifting both arms in a cheer

By the way, there are some apps and devices that change an emoticon to the corresponding emoji.

A smiley is a happy face, a stylized version of a smiling human face. It is generally yellow, circular, with black dots for eyes and a black curve for the mouth. Since the introduction of the smiley face in the early 1960s, there have certainly been many alternate versions – different expressions and sometimes different colors – and now there are lots of smileys and expressions available in emojis.

Some modern smileys have
3-D shading and more complex
cartoonish expressions
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