You can say a whole lot with just a few emoji.
Want to ask a friend if they want to go for a bike ride?
Want to ask what you should bring home for dinner?
Want to say that you and Jack are taking the bus to see Prince perform Purple Rain, and you’ll be home by 9:30?
Bam. If you have 400 hours to dig through all of the available emoji instead of just typing a message with words like a human, the possibilities are endless!
Unless you want to flip someone off. That… you can’t do. For now.
The Unicode Consortium has just announced plans to add 250 new emoji symbols to the Unicode Standard. Amongst others, some of the new symbols include a chipmunk, a thermometer, and the vulcan salute.
Oh, and a lil’ ditty they like to call “Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended“.
A mockup, as made by the fine folk at the aptly dubbed Emoji Blog:
For context, in case you’re not sure what we’re talking about here: when you send a friend a text message with those little cutesie pictographic icons that are built into your phone — be a ghost or a cat or a creepy smiling poop or whatever — you’re using a standarized system called Emoji. The Unicode Consortium gives phone manufacturers (Apple, Google, etc.) a big list of icons they should implement, then it’s up to the phone maker to decide what each icon should look like. As of this morning, that list just picked up 250+ new icons.
Now, to be clear: your phone doesn’t have 250 new emoji icons on it just yet. If the phone manufacturers embrace this expanded list, the new icons will take a while to design/implement — and even then, each icon’s design/implementation is at the whims of whoever is making the OS.
It’ll be fun to see how (or really, if) Google/Apple/et al. implement the ol’ middle finger. If they don’t, people will just see a string of text or a blank box where the icon should show up. If they do, they risk some parent somewhere flipping out and suing because their kid’s phone has a middle finger icon built into it, and everyone knows that cartoon middle fingers are a gateway drug to Grand Theft Autos and loitering. Perhaps some middling, tongue-in-cheek implementation would do; an upside down bird icon, perhaps?
You can peruse the full list of the 2014 emoji additions here.