Lisa Currie

By Lisa Currie

Now as a writer, I enjoy playing with words and learning the history and nuances of words — not only in English but in other languages.

Words have value, and most people regardless of language have a lexicon — a mental dictionary — that is used with familiarity and frequency.

Because I used to work with non-native speakers of English, I understand how difficult English can be because we have one word that can mean dozens of different things — the meaning based solely on the context. Think of the word draft — a word which can mean a beer, a copy, a horse, an assignment to the military, a money-making deal for a sports team, or a gentle breeze.

None of these meanings are even related, so paying very close attention to the entire sentence is vital for comprehension. That’s why I love adding emojis to my writing because when I send a mug of beer emoji, that mug cannot be confused with a cloud blowing in the breeze or a horse. I am here to tell you that emojis are the way to go.

Do you know emojis? It’s those little pictures on the cell phone or in email that express emotion — or a thing/idea — with a picture/symbol. Kate Grisdale enjoys emojis just as much as me because Kate can write an entire title to a book with only pictures of little dogs and autumn leaves.

Now that’s artistic expression — who needs words?

Okay, I admit some emojis just have no purpose, and I don’t know what all the little symbols mean (though I have learned in the most embarrassing of ways that the little pile of poo with eyes is not the beehive that I thought when sharing), but I love emojis because I like the color and shape the emoji adds to the page.

Emojis turn the black and white into a colorful extravaganza of expression.

As part of that color extravaganza, I am guilty of sending random emojis like blue dinosaurs, a saltshaker, green underwear, someone doing a handstand, a ladder, a tongue, or a spoon (why would anyone need these emojis?), and for a while there, I made every effort to send as many odd emojis as possible to my brother, Bill, because I knew when he got the long list of emojis on his phone he would be totally perplexed at why anyone would send him a picture of a lobster, a woman’s shoe, or a unicorn.

Since the point of emoji discovery, I have changed my emoji habits and try ending most messages that contain words embroidered with many smiley faces, several hearts, or the surprised face that tells the reader how I feel at the moment.

A friend of mine recently made a comment about how my emoji use is too often and very silly.

I won’t deny the fact, and this obsession makes me wonder what would happen if next week, my column is nothing other than 500 emojis — no words.

Mayor of Toms Brook, Lisa Currie, former journalist, is an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University and Laurel Ridge Community College. When she’s not writing her weekly columns, she is working diligently revising her first collection of short stories and publishing, in cooperation with Susie Wilburn and Fabiana French, a series of children’s books about Seven Bends State Park.

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