Eight of the most pointless emojis, from ? to ?

The Guardian // 08th January 2016

Powered by article titled “Eight of the most pointless emojis, from ? to ?” was written by Hannah Jane Parkinson, for on Friday 8th January 2016 10.08 UTC

An emoji was named as Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2015. It’s a visual language most of us use every single day. It can be a nuanced and creative means of communication. Certain demographics have their own emoji lingo. Think pieces abide.

But some of those little characters? Meh. Entirely, utterly pointless. Here are eight of the most pointless:

1. Hole

I think of this as an uncovered manhole cover, but it could quite easily be the entrance to hell.

I can’t think of a time one would have occasion to use the hole emoji – except for perhaps in conjunction with the eggplant emoji if one wanted to be especially juvenile. ?

emoji useless
Levitating man, hole, anger and curly loop. Photograph: Emojipedia

2. Levitating man in suit

A guy in a fedora and sunglasses levitating over a shadow. Ok then. This emoji was introduced in 2014 as part of the Unicode 7.0 update, but was originally part of the Wingdings character set that comes packaged with Microsoft Word. There has been a suggestion that the emoji was inspired by The Specials’ rude boy logo.

3. Curly loop

At least it is exactly what it says on the tin, but I cannot work out what the point of the curly loop emoji is. It sort of looks like a sidewards ichthys – a drowning Christian fish symbol, but other than that … ¯_(?)_/¯

4. Anger

Dating from the Unicode 6.0 batch of emoji released in 2010, this weird square thing is supposed to be the symbol for anger. We all know the symbol for anger is the steam-coming-out-of-nose face (which is unfathomably – unfathomably – officially called the Face With Look of Triumph).

However, the cruciform-like shape is a well-known part of the visual language of anime and manga to indicate “veins popping in anger” around a character’s face. This makes sense as emojis are a Japanese invention. But for non-anime aficionados, the shape languishes at the back of the emoji cupboard.

The round pin, upside down face, pager and large orange square… Photograph: Emojipedia

5. Large orange diamond


6. Pager

Come on; this is 2016. Who uses a pager anymore? Except for hospital doctors. There is a multitude of telephone emojis – including both two landlines and mobile phone designs – so the pager emoji is superfluous. See also: fax machine emoji. Emojipedia’s description of a fax machine is: “popular in the 1980s and 1990s, prior to widespread use of the internet”.

7. Round pin

Sure, sure, include a pin in the set of emoji. But two pins? Do we really need two different types of pin? Do we really need the round pin when we also have the push-pin? *waits for cartographers to go into the comments to answer in the affirmative*

8. Up-side down face

Approved in 2015 as part of Unicode 8.0. Nobody knows why. The only thing I can think of is that the upside down face represents the time Spiderman hung upside down from a roof to kiss Mary Jane. Any other suggestions welcome.

Let us know what you think the most underused or pointless emoji are in the comments below. ?

‘I’m sitting next to a weirdo on the bus’ and other true meanings of emoji © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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