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Austin Ramzy, "Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia, Raises Eyebrows With Emojis", NYT 10/22/2015:

What, exactly, does that scowling, red-faced emoji mean? I’m mad? Frustrated? Sunburned?  

The question, which has plagued more than a few text-message exchanges, became a topic of debate in the Australian Senate on Thursday, when Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s liberal use of emojis came under question during a committee meeting.

Those Australian eyebrows have rather slow reaction times, since the emoji statement in question took place in an interview more than eight months ago: Mark Di Stefano, "Julie Bishop Describes Serious Diplomatic Relationships With Emoji" ("Exclusive: World’s first political emoji interview"), BuzzFeed 2/15/2015.

I found Ms. Bishop's interview quite readable, in contrast to Emoji Dick ("Kickstarter ad absurdum", 10/18/2015), probably because the questions are all expressed in ordinary text, and her responses are generally single emoji, in each case expressing a simple and concrete image (a running man, a phone, two dancers) or the stereotypical depiction of an emotional state (the cited red scowling face).



  1. Mara K said,

    October 22, 2015 @ 10:57 am

    Some of Buzzfeed's emoji sequences are confusing too. What do they mean by "praying hands, high-ten, chicken, fish"?

  2. Michael Watts said,

    October 22, 2015 @ 2:33 pm

    I'd really like to know more about the difference between Australia's relationship with the US (good, gaping smile) vs China (also good, but closed-mouth smile and sunglasses).

    Honestly, I've never understood what Sunglasses Face is supposed to represent. :/

  3. Rubrick said,

    October 22, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

    I can't seem to find the "Australian eyebrows" emoji.

  4. Stan Carey said,

    October 23, 2015 @ 5:58 am

    Many popular emoji are widely misunderstood, apparently; e.g., what seems like a tear is a "nasal bubble…derived from popular anime/manga iconography that denotes sleep".

  5. Kenny Easwaran said,

    October 24, 2015 @ 11:43 am

    I've seen the "praying hands, high ten" pair in text messages in other contexts too – is there some convention here that I'm behind in learning?

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