字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 A brief History of Emoji. With over six billion sent every day, emoji have gone truly global in the last few years. But where did they come from, and how on earth did we ever manage to communicate effectively in the pre-emoji era? Language first evolved around 100,000 years ago, allowing our ancestors to communicate simple ideas like 'fire' or 'cave' or more complex ideas like 'your cave is on fire'. About five and a half thousand years ago, writing was invented in Mesopotamia, when people started engraving symbols on clay tablets. This marked a major step forward for civilization, although (it) wasn't entirely practical for sending love letters. At the same time, in Egypt, people began scratching small pictures and symbols onto bone and ivory. 5,000 years later, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, ensuring people could mass produce documents and share radical ideas like Protestantism and the recipe for Auntie Susan's vegetable broth. In the 19th century the telegraph was invented, which led to an increase in long-distance communication, as well as cases of repetitive strain injury. In the late 20th century, the combination of the internet and mobile phone gave birth to the video call. So, now you have to look ill as well as sound ill when you pull a sickie. All of which finally bring us to the birth of emoji. So, what exactly are emoji? The word is made of the Japanese characters for picture writing. They began life when their inventor noted a craze for sending heart icons among Japanese teenagers, as well as among business men! Before emoji, emoticons had let you express how you felt by using combinations of punctuation marks. Now though, there are emoji for almost everything. There are ones with different sexual orientations, skin tones, and genders in various roles, all purposefully designed to reflect a modern, multiculturally-diverse society. And then there are less intuitive emoji, like the levitating businessman, and whatever this means! There's an emoji for almost everything, well, apart from an emoji for emojis. So, what do people use them for? When we talk, a huge amount of meaning is conveyed through gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice, and this can get lost in written language, particularly as it becomes more colloquial. So, what in the past might have been written as, 'Your hazel eyes remind me of a forest on the first days of autumn' might now be 'U R well fit'. So, in these modern times, being able to project feeling and emotion is especially important. And let's be honest, even the harshest truths can be softened by an emoji. 'I puked in your car.' If you enjoyed this clip, feel free to follow the links on screen for more interesting articles and free courses from The Open University.