Friday, October 08, 2021

Is This Old Fashion “…” Am I Showing My Age?

There was a discussion on Facebook over the use or lack of use of emojis in texting by different age groups and the comments broke down into two groups by ages, it was just like the way this country is divided over politics.
Generation Divide: Different Age Groups Use Emojis Differently And That Isn't Likely Going To Change
By Peter Suciu
August 24, 2021

Almost anyone who has a smartphone likely regularly uses an emoji – the various pictograms and smiley faces. Not surprisingly, these originated on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s, and since them have been used to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from a typed conversation. There are now so many in use that they've taken on secondary meaning.
"Like many sociolinguistic practices, emoji use continues to evolve," said Dr. Anne Framroze, adjunct lecturer in the Online Masters of Communication Management Program at the University of Southern California.

"Recently, we've seen some social media friction between Millennials and Gen Z in terms of emoji use, with new meanings being attached by Gen Z to certain emojis, leaving Millennials and older generations wondering which emoji to use or whether to use any at all," said Framroze. "Emojis are a kind of representational language, and all languages evolve. This is nothing new. Words have always taken up new meanings, meanings that reflect the texture and contours of the time and place in which they're used."
People think that this is new, but it is old as the hill; cool, dyno-mite, far out, bogart, and “The man” they all came out of my generation. My grandmother when it was raining used to tell us put on your slickers and galoshes and we would reply “Grandma they’re rain coats and boots!” 

Look at the slang from the 1930’s we laugh at them now but back then they were the “cat’s meow,” words like; bumping gums, five spot, giggle juice, hooch, jive, kibosh, and squat. Some survived the ages and other did not, the same will be true our slang, emojis, ellipsis and idioms some will last the test of time.
Just as language evolves over time, generation by generation – we're already seeing that emojis are evolving. In fact, emojis have already evolved from emoticons, which used some text-based symbols to replace certain words to express emotions. The idea for this was proposed in the 1960s, when Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov suggested a universal symbol for a smile.
There is also the divide between the generations using the ellipses…
The Ellipsis is Widening the Gap Between Millennials and Boomers. Here’s Why
By: Michaela Magliochetti
June 28, 2021

Imagine you’re playing charades. You draw a card that prompts you to act out a phone conversation. What shape does your hand take? If you’re over the age of 15, you’ll probably extend your thumb and pinky fingers to create the surfer’s gesture and raise the symbol up to your ear. If you’re a young teen or kid who grew up surrounded by smart devices (rather than flip phones or handsets), you might curl your hand like you’re holding a brick or simply stretch your palm out flat before beginning your mimed chat. You’re probably also wondering, “What the hell is charades?”

The viral phone challenge stunned TikTok last year, with Millennial and Gen X parents watching in disbelief as their kids clutched pretend iPhones. But it’s not the first time the app has exposed these generational splits. Users have poked fun at Baby Boomers and their penchant for decorative signs encouraging us to “Live, Laugh, Love.” They’ve also cast Millennial women as “cheugy” for sporting side parts and clapping along to the Friends theme song.
In the article about emoticons the article goes on to say,
"We are all aware, by the very evolution of colloquial language, that there are 'generational gaps' leading each generation to define its own identity patterns, differentiated from the previous ones," added Dr. Oscar Barroso Huertas, professor within the Graduate School of Business at CETYS University, Mexico. "Therefore, it is not surprising that, in the psycho-graphic aspect, these same differences exist if we speak within an academic context of the Study of consumer behavior. Emojis express emotions, which the typographic element does not reflect, attributing one specific tone to the conversation, and thus one scenario in particular, to develop a more appropriate conversational environment, depending on the situation in which they are manifested or used."
The thing is language changes over time, language is a living entity that is morphing over time, distance, and culture. It is not just emojis and ellipsis but language, take the word “transgender” when I first came out it was used as an umbrella term now it is trying to morph into a word meaning a person who has transitioned. I like the inclusive definition rather than exclusive.
This isn’t the first mix-up and it won’t be the last
The cool thing about colloquial language? It’s always changing. McCulloch reminds us of a time when internet newcomers typed in all caps. Remember calling your parents to explain that their text messages make it seem like they’re yelling at everyone? (Remember calling someone about anything, period?) McCulloch says it spurred larger cultural conversations, with explainer videos and memes surrounding the caps lock phenomenon. “Now, no one has to do that anymore because people do know that all caps is shouting,” she says.

More change across our keyboards is inevitable. Younger generations will usher in new forms of digital language, and we’ll all try to keep up. “We don’t want to get too hung up thinking we’ve discovered the right way to do things because we’re just going to get proven wrong again,” says McCulloch. So just wait. Before you know it, Generation Alpha (aka the iPad kids) will be eager to make fun of your “main character aesthetic” and that cat sweater you’re wearing ironically.
What we have here is a clash of cultures and I imagine that besides age that if we look at different regions around the world we see a different style of texting.

Notice how this discussion about emojis and ellipsis has divided us in to the old verse the young. Now substitute race for age, how would this discussion sound then? Racist?

What will happen when someone from an Asian culture texts someone from and they have a different meaning for the emoji would we in North America understand what they mean or would we misunderstand the meaning and take offense? We have to learn to accept our differences and embrace them, diversity allows us understand different cultures and styles. 

Update 10/8 @ 11:45: the paragraph beginning with "Look at the slang from...

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