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    Posted March 13, 2014 by

    Emoji: A road to the Library of Congress

    In 1982, Professor Scott Fahlman of Mellon Carnegie University, a computer science lecturer, was writing on an university news board and wanted to make a joke about a elevator on campus. So no one thought his joke was a safety warning, he followed his post with a :-) and suggested that his colleagues do the same also promoting :-( as a sign of seriousness. Within days, the colon-hyphen-parenthesis symbol had spread across the Mellon Carnegie campus; within a month, the idea spread at Stanford University. Thirty-two years later, emoticons became a part of our generation’s culture.

    The most basic of emoticons, such as :-) and :-(, have changed the way we communicate, and whether we like it or not Emoji represents one of the hashtag, phablet, The Real Housewives, meme, selfie (and of course, twerking) generation’s languages, an innovative cultural legacy that needs to be preserved for the upcoming generations.

    There are roughly 800 of them - smiley face, broken heart, shoe, snail – and the most commonly used Emojis are sent as text messages and tweets. They can express everything from surprise :-O to complete indifference :-I within a matter of keystrokes. And they also have an impact on the way we think.

    Most Emojis are universally understood, even the ones you can’t imagine finding use for, but other Emojis seem to just be lost in translation, like a stack of dollar bills with wings; a pair of hands held up, palms open, beneath a line of blue triangles; the number 18 circled and crossed with a diagonal line.

    Research published earlier this month in the journal Social Neuroscience revealed that we react to emoticons in the same way we react to seeing an emotion expressed on someone’s face. The study also revealed that when the smiley faces were inverted – so (-: instead of the more established :-) – there was no recognition. So if you are writing your smileys that way, you’re doing it wrong.

    For these reasons we, here at Gizmorati, believe that we should stand up and include the Emoji language in the Library of Congress’ archives. This is why we have started a White House petition entitled “#emoji2LOC“. An Emoji guide/dictionary as part of the LOC’s archives will help us, the people, preserve it as a language, a cultural legacy and a useful resource for the upcoming generations.

    One of the Library of Congress’ top priority is “to acquire, organize, preserve, secure and sustain for the present and future use of Congress and the nation a comprehensive record of American history and creativity and a universal collection of human knowledge” and the Emoji language should have its place in the American history.

    We have to preserve this piece of culture for our descendants.

    Sign the White House Petition. Let’s take Emoji to the Library of Congress.

    SOURCE: Gizmorati.com - http://gizmorati.com/2014/03/13/emoji2loc-the-hashtag-generations-legacy-for-its-descendants/
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