The Pulse

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Are emojis words?

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The use of emojis is becoming increasingly popular in school work and formal papers. Even teachers utilize emojis in their lesson plans to help engage their students and keep them interested.

In 2015, the Oxford dictionary made an emoji the word of the year. Ever since then there has been a huge debate on whether emojis should be considered words.

Terry Beach, an English teacher, does not believe emojis are words. She uses emojis in texts and in Powerpoints, and her favorite emoji is the thumbs up.

“Emojis are symbols but not words,” Beach said. “They can be used to emphasize tone or moods, but they are not text.”

When students use emojis more than they use proper English they can have trouble distinguishing when it is appropriate to use emojis.

Words make sentences, create paragraphs, tell stories and make books — emojis cannot do that.

Sophomore Hannah Basinger loves to use emojis and uses them regularly.

“I do not think emojis are words,” Basinger said. “I would consider them expressions of emotion rather than words.”

Emojis cannot stand alone as words can and need more context, therefore, they do not qualify as words. There are no grammar rules when it comes to the use of emojis.

Marla Watts, another English teacher at the high school, loves to use a bunch of emojis such as the salsa dancing woman, the red heart, smiley faces, and many more.

“I do not think emojis should be considered words but rather stick with their original purpose, which is to allow the recipient to fill in the blanks of what is being said without the use of words,” Watts said.

If someday universal rules were created, then maybe emoji could be words, but until then pictures can stay pictures and words can stay words.

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of Broken Arrow High School
Are emojis words?