Are you using these Emoji correctly?

Learn how to use emoji on websites like emojipedia and iemoji where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the little icons you pepper your messages. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Learn how to use emoji on websites like emojipedia and iemoji where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the little icons you pepper your messages. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

While texting friends with your smartphone, you probably had those little moments of frustration when you either could not figure out whether an emoji was grinning or smirking, or just couldn't locate one of the tiny symbols that could convey exactly how you felt.

There are actually websites like emojipedia and iemoji where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the little icons you pepper your messages with (or for some people, make them up entirely).

Emoji, or "picture letters", originated in Japan, and as you may have noticed, some of them are specific to Japanese culture. So while you may have been using  to mean, Home Sweet Home, it actually represents a Love Hotel.

So have you been using them correctly? Most likely not.

Dizzy and confused

    

Can you tell the difference? On the left is the "Astonished face" and on the right the "Dizzy Face", which is "looking sick or confused from being spun around in circles too many times", according to emojipedia.

It adds: "Difficult to distinguish from the Astonished Face in Apple’s artwork." 

Yes, we can see that.

Angry? No way!

You're not alone if you've been using this to mean you're angry, but the name of this emoji is "Face with Look of Triumph".

The definition on iemoji says: "A face with closed eyes, stern mouth, and visible breath coming out of the nose. This emoji just accomplished something."

Really?

Whistle and throw a kiss

Kissing emojis, that's easy. No actually, the first icon is both a kissing and a whistling emoji. Yes, I'm not kidding. 

According to emojipedia, it is "a bit more of an ‘innocent, I’m pretending I didn’t do anything’ whistle, especially if combined with the music note."

How about the other two? The emoji in the middle is called "Face Throwing A Kiss" and is supposed to be more flirty, the last is "more intimate than the regular kissing face emoji, due to the eyes being closed."

Don't get them mixed up!

No comment, really

Did you mean to type "a deliberate display of ‘no comment’" (left) as opposed to a completely neutral face (right), "not giving away any particular emotion"? 

Who cares? 

Hmmmmmmmm

Is this emoji related to mouthless British girl Hello Kitty? Apparently not.

People have used it to mean "I'm speechless", but emojipedia says: "This emoji has eyes, and no mouth. Represents silence, as this emoji is always silent. Imagine the things he would say if he had a mouth!"

Hands together now

Prayer, please, or high five? All three, it seems.

Here's the explanation given by emojipedia: "Two hands placed firmly together, commonly used to represent praying hands in Western countries, while originally meaning please or thank you in Japanese culture."

It later morphed to also mean a high-five.

This means whaaat?

There are a number of weather-related symbols that few have a chance to use here. This one means "cyclone", so maybe you should stop using it as a decorative element in greetings and well wishes.

Not so jolly girls

The "Bunny Girls" have stood in for aerobics workouts, a girls' night out, or just jubilation. They are meant to represent "showgirls", or "or a woman that provides entertainment to others by dancing and singing", says iemoji.

It can appear differently on some devices, with just the head of a woman wearing bunny ears, leading to misunderstandings.

But hey, as long as you're understood, it shouldn't matter how you use them.

chuimin@sph.com.sg