Gimme meta emoji
September 3, 2019 2:58 PM   Subscribe

In Slack, someone tagged a comment with emojis in a witty way. I want to say, "ooh, nice emoji game," in emoji. How can I do that?

We already have a custom "nice" slackmoji. (Thanks, slackmojis.) I could add one and name it "emoji," and then on hover, it would helpfully say "emoji." The next question would be, what image should I call "emoji?"
posted by Pronoiac to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I already checked emojipedia for "meta" and "emoji," with no luck.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:00 PM on September 3, 2019

We usually use the "Nice!" emoji that looks like the 💯 or leave a new comment in a thread saying "nice emoji @username". We also tend to use 💅 as a shorthand for "an amazing level of detail/polish on whatever you just did"
posted by mathowie at 3:01 PM on September 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

You might could make an animated gif that goes through a couple classic emojis (👍🎉😻💯 ⛄️🦷)
posted by aubilenon at 3:16 PM on September 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by tatiana wishbone at 3:37 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

🐴 is my goto for this.
posted by michaelh at 5:29 PM on September 3, 2019

One of the problems with using an emoji is they already signify something else. Imho, you're going to need to go outside the pool of existing emojis to find an image that's supposed to represent all emojis as a class. Might I suggest the "emoji key" you find on the iPhone keyboard. Sure, it basically looks like a bland smiley. But maybe if you isolate it along with the keycap itself (like this) it might work?
posted by mhum at 5:33 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by phunniemee at 5:54 PM on September 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Use that little box that shows up when a browser can't display the actual emoji.
posted by teremala at 6:03 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'd use a hat tip gif.
posted by Threeve at 8:41 PM on September 3, 2019

Perhaps a custom '101' gif that looks like the 100 emoji, except more.
posted by whisk(e)y neat at 10:27 PM on September 3, 2019

An example of a button used to select emojies, as mhum suggests, is a very good idea. Ideally it would be the most commonly used such button or symbol, something anyone who uses emojis would instantly recognize because they have pushed it approximately one million times.

Just for example, a little chunk of this screen keyboard, which, handily, comes with a Giant Red Arrow pointing directly at the emoji button, just to make your meaning absolutely crystal clear. (Comes from this page, BTW--more on that later.)

Another idea would be a little piece of an emoji poster, something that shows a bunch of emojies in rows, suggesting that you're talking about the whole list of emojies.

Something like an emoji-sized chunk out of the middle of this poster showing a bunch of emojies.

Hazard warning: I am officially an Old as I don't understand what emojies are or why anyone likes them. I go so far as to take a full minute to disable the emoji button on any keyboard or device I use so that it doesn't take up valuable real estate that could be used for something far more productive, like the \, }, or, ~ key.

So I may not be your best judge of what an emoji should or should not be.
posted by flug at 12:00 AM on September 4, 2019

What I'm suggesting in my post above, though, is making a whole new emoji that represents the idea of "emoji".

Since it appears that you can't really just add emojies to the list willy-nilly however you would like, this doesn't really answer your question and just demonstrates, once again, that I am an Old who doesn't understand emojies, what they are, how you use them, or how to answer questions about them.

(Hey, by the way, those quotation marks in the first sentence of this post suggest an interesting solution if someone does want to make a new emoji meaning "emoji": Take the most commonly used/known emoji and put quotation marks around it--and that becomes your new emoji.

Those quotation marks will suggest that you are not talking about that emoji itself and what it means, but you are referencing the very idea of emojies--just the same way I used the quotation marks around ""emoji"" in that first sentence--and just as I've been forced to resort to double quotation-marks here in this sentence because I am trying to refer to the concept of the word "emoji" with quotation marks around it, not the concept of "emojies" as a whole or to any specific emoji or its meaning. Point being, you can do a lot with quotation marks. Include them in your new emoji and you'll be golden.)

However, after that somewhat lengthy but also nearly-on-topic digression, I will add one last interesting and actually relevant bit of information to this discussion:

A search at Emojipedia for the term "emoji" returns no results found.

That says a lot. You're treading on completely unplowed ground.
posted by flug at 12:15 AM on September 4, 2019

Yeah, well Emojipedia doesn't have party parrot either so what do they know?
posted by aubilenon at 8:44 AM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Since it came up in an earlier reply, the most commonly used emoji for a long time was 😂. Currently, the most popular emoji on emojipedia is the heart ❤.

As Gretchen McCulloch points out in her recent book "Because Internet", emoji have more in common with the gestures that go with spoken language than they do with language itself (whether spoken, written, or signed).

There's a relatively small collection of gestures with specific names and specific meanings (nodding, flipping the bird, thumbs up, etc.). Their meanings can vary from culture to culture (the "OK" sign is quite vulgar in some countries), and they need to be learned individually for them to make sense. And subtle variations can completely change their meaning (in the UK, flipping the two-finger "peace" sign around makes a huge difference!) Similarly, there are a number of emoji with very specific meanings (👍, 🍆, ❤, etc.). They have specific meanings that you either know or you don't, and sometimes those meanings differ in different subcultures. And if they don't look exactly the same way on everyone's screen, things can be misunderstood. (Lately, most of these emoji have been very firmly established, but there was a lot of confusion not too long ago.)

But the most commonly used gestures don't even have names. They're just things we do when we're talking to make things clearer. We indicate the size of an object, we pantomime an action that we're describing, we gesture firmly once between each word to emphasize our point. These gestures aren't arbitrary; they basically mean exactly what they look like. Subtle differences aren't as important. And we often repeat them over and over again for emphasis. Most emoji are the same way; they mean exactly what they look like. 🍕 is just a slice of pizza in the way that 🍆 is not just an eggplant. Subtle differences aren't as important (most people won't be upset if the pizza has mushrooms instead of pepperoni, as long as it looks like pizza). We repeat them for emphasis. The most common sequence of more than one emoji is 😂😂. Number two on that list is 😂😂😂 and number three is 😂😂😂😂. We use some for emphasis 👏 between 👏 each 👏 word 👏

There's some gray areas between the different kinds of gestures and between the different kinds of emoji, of course.

It's possible to communicate larger, more complex ideas using emoji (see "Emoji Dick"), but this isn't the normal way to use them. It's a stunt or a game or a joke, like playing charades.

Okay, so how does that help you describe emoji using emoji? Well, it doesn't really. But it explains why it's so hard. There isn't a standard emoji that means "emoji" just as there isn't a standard gesture that means "gesture". What you're trying to do is more like the charades game than normal usage. Which is fine! And a fun challenge! But it's a hard one! Can you imagine trying to communicate "Charades" in a game of Charades? You don't have many options (outside of cheating by using sign language or mouthing words or writing letters in the air).

You could try to spam the most common Charades motions one after another, but you'd have to do a lot of them before anyone had even a hope of guessing what you were up to. Trying to extend that metaphor backwards to emoji gives one suggestion (which came up earlier, and might be your best bet): spam a huge list of emoji that is so long that it can't possibly be a series of smaller messages, and just hope that your reader will pick up on it and not think that your 5-year-old niece got a hold of the phone. It might help to put them in the exact same order as they come on your reader's phone's emoji list, if you can figure that out...

If you were playing a boxed game of Charades, you might be able to point at the box itself. The emoji version of this was also suggested above: figure out what button appears on the emoji menu on your friend's phone and try to use that one (maybe in conjunction with something that looks like a button), and hope they figure it out.

Or you could cheat. You don't have sign language, but you can do rebus-style emoji (always a cop-out, in my book). Saddly, the emo emoji is not standardized as yet. E(🗿-👁️)G?

Finger-writing... 🖊️⬅️⬇️➡️⬅️⬇️➡️ (That'll get you an E...)

Lip-reading... 😬😐😮🤫😬?

Anyway, good luck!
posted by ErWenn at 2:34 PM on September 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: In hindsight, I want a Slack reaction, so, potentially a gif.

On my mobile devices, when I open the emoji keyboard, there's a row of categories underneath, and I put those into a gif: does this work for "emoji"? (Note, self-link, to avoid it becoming an mp4 or something on other hosting.)

At first, I wanted an "emoji" emoji, or an emoji for "emoji," but this works, I think, right? Maybe it should be "Slack reaction."

Also, I'd signal "charades" as "sounds like" gesture, hold finger up to mouth like "ssh," point at ear, hold up eight fingers

posted by Pronoiac at 1:33 AM on September 5, 2019

I wonder if you could make it animate quite a bit faster, maybe 2-4X faster? Like the idea would be to give the impression that you're flipping through a whole card-deck of emojies at reasonably high rate of speed.
posted by flug at 5:10 PM on September 5, 2019

Response by poster: Sorry about the delay; I showed it to some co-workers, who were really "meh" about it.

The original one I posted is about 150 bpm; you might like:
* 2x, 300 bpm
* 3x, 450-ish bpm
* 4x, 600 bpm
posted by Pronoiac at 11:23 PM on September 8, 2019

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