Are our present languages being replaced?

Columns Opinion

Emoticons taking over world of speech 

By Mariam Ahmad Campus Life Editor 

Emoji
(Image from getemoji.com)

Ever since the advent of smartphones, the use of emojis and emoticons has increased drastically. These days there is hardly a text, comment or status that doesn’t include one. 

You’re feeling sad, there’s an emoji for that. Feeling excited? Use an emoji for that too. There’s an emoji for almost every feeling and every occasion out there. Every now and then, new emojis and emoticons are released into the world helping us express our feelings we may not even know we have in a much more efficient way. 

According to Swyft Media, 74 percent of Americans regularly use emoticons in online communication, sending an average of 96 per day. 

As with anything, emojis and emoticons have their pros and cons. They are useful as well as dangerous. As far as the beneficial aspects go, perhaps the greatest one is that emojis help us express ourselves with efficiency and accuracy. Before emojis it was hard to convey our attitude and tone of speaking accurately through the text messages. We would compile a text with a certain tone in mind but the receiver may take it totally differently, which could result in a fight, argument or awkward situation when the other person took the wrong meaning.  

Thanks to emojis, our tone is delivered much better. Apart from that, emojis come in very handy when you’re running out of time and need to get your message through quickly, or when words fail to describe your feelings. 

Emojis enrich our texts with a personal flair and meaning. With their colors and graphics, they also attract and engage the recipient better than plain writing.

On the other hand, there is great, reasonable fear that emojis are replacing our words and our language. According to studies conducted by psychologists for CNBC, the excessive use of emojis will result in the first stage of language degeneration. 

n the beginning of times, communication was carried out through symbols and signs which later turned into drawings before actual words. The Ethnologue catalogue of world languages lists 6,909 living languages across the globe today, but analyzing the use of emojis leads one to ponder whether all languages will fall to the use of universal characters. 

The use of emojis in moderation is perfectly OK, but the value of spoken and written language must be revered and held superior so as not to further the frightening process of its degeneration.