Some more Emojiology for World Emoji Day

July 17 is World Emoji Day, a celebration of all things emoji. It’s the perfect occasion to promote some writing I’ve been doing for Emojipedia, the encyclopedia for emoji—and one reason, among other word-working, the blog has been less active in recent weeks. 

Emoji-Header-Emoji-Header-Smiling-Face-With-Heart-Shaped-Eyes-Emojipedia

Continue reading “Some more Emojiology for World Emoji Day”

Advertisements

TIME, emoji, and the unusual “with-” in “withdraw”

This past week, TIME magazine’s talented Katy Steinmetz interviewed me for a fantastic piece on the challenges of using words that have offensive histories, such as bulldozer. (Steinmetz also interviewed me back in 2016, you may recall, about the fascinating Japanese linguistics behind words like Pokémon and karaoke.)

Catch up on my writing for the wonderful Emojipedia, too. This month, I wrote about 😏, or Smirking Face emoji, ever smug and suggestive in its many applications in our digital communication.

The verb smirk, for its part, dates back to the Old English smearcian, which was the go-to word for smile until the latter took over in Middle English. Smirk survived, but with a connotation of self-satisfaction. Cognates to smirk are not found in other Germanic languages, but smirk and smile do appear to be related in some way.

Emoji-Header-Smirking-Face-Emojipedia.jpg
Smirking Face emoji (John Kelly/Emojipedia)

Continue reading “TIME, emoji, and the unusual “with-” in “withdraw””

Catch up with Mashed Radish

This past week has been a kind of High Holidays of etymological trivia.

March 14th marked Pi Day:

Pi Day inevitably makes us hungry for actual pie, apparently named for the piebald magpie.

March 15th marks the Ides of March, which has all bewaring, quoting Shakespeare, and wondering, “Why isn’t the ‘Ide‘ of March anyways?”

Then, we have St. Patrick’s Day, which I’m celebrating way out in Ballina, a charming river town in County Mayo, with some Irish language contributions to English (trousers!) and, ah, sure, some whiskey.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy working on some other projects I think you’ll enjoy—and find quite useful.

Continue reading “Catch up with Mashed Radish”