The Wordless Language

Margherita Olivo
March 29th 2016

Languages are in a constant evolution, but recently they are developing faster than ever. This is happening due to the unquestionable evolution of communication means. In this globalized age we often fantasize about a universal language, even more than English, one that can be used by people of all backgrounds, ages and level of education. This is where the phenomenon of emojis takes place as something verbal and nonverbal at the same time.

Because of emojis’ versatile meanings and ability to communicate, their functions are endless. They may seem childish, unnecessary and ridiculous at first, in fact they replace altogether not only words, but feelings as well, reaching a next level of instant communication. They are actively changing the way we interact virtually, making it easier, faster, fun, and even more exhaustive in certain occasions, avoiding misunderstandings (most of the time) that are more common in 'old-style' writing.

This of course is not a new concept, humans have used symbols for ages (think of the Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet), but we consider elaborate languages a cultural evolution. In this text-based era, are we witnessing the beginning of the end of written language? Will good writing become a niche specialty? Does this standardization of simple 'language' have a role in representing our actual society and reality? What is certain is that these symbols are warming online communication, but this also entails an impoverishment of our rich vocabulary and most of all of our ability of using it.

Source: New York Magazine. Image: Randowant

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