Do you have a favorite emoji? Maybe it's the wink or the smiling face

with jazz hands.

With more than 3,000 to choose from, there are plenty of options. But have you ever considered that the emoji you use to text every day has a compelling human stories behind them?

If you open your emoji keyboard and search for "levitating", you will find a tiny picture of a man dressed in a dapper black suit, hat and shades. That is Peter Tosh, one of the three founding members of the 1960s band The Wailers, along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer.

The dumpling, chopsticks, fortune cookie, takeaway box and bubble or boba tea are the result of a Shanghai-born designer who has had several proposals added to the official keyboard to reflect part of her identity as a Chinese woman living in the U.S.

Anyone can create an emoji but only those with a really good proposal and design can advance. You don't need funding or connections, just a really good 10-page paper.

The official list of characters, is updated every year or so. From start to finish, the process could take up to two years. 

Incidentally, the word emoji is actually a Japanese word that means "pictogram" or "pictograph."  


All content © 2021, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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