Teachers' blog




(Contributed by Mike)
In the mid-90s, the way we were communicating with each other was changing. Email was still new, but it was becoming more popular. And with email came a number of new problems.
In a way, it’s not so different from letter writing. In writing, we have only the words on the paper to express our thoughts and opinions. So letters are longer, perhaps more formal, and because they have to explain our ideas accurately, they’re a lot longer.
Emails, of course, are not like that. Emails are often as short as they are convenient. Emailing, texting, and instant messaging have changed how we communicate. But with brevity comes the chance for misunderstanding. We might read something someone writes in an email, but see a message in it that the sender didn’t intend.
So emojis were born to fix this problem. They give the kinds of clues that we can see in a telephone conversation or a face-to-face conversation which help us to understand the sender’s meanings and intentions. The word emoji is Japanese, but it’s become universal, and is now part of almost every smartphone’s keyboard around the world.
So what are “ehmojis”? To understand this, you need to understand a little about Canadian culture. “Eh” is an all-purpose word that can be used to state an opinion, state a fact, give commands, make exclamations, ask questions, ask for clarification, be part of an insult, or be part of a story.
This word is so much a part of Canadian culture that, even if we don’t actually use it so often, we take pride in that it’s recognized as Canadian. So to celebrate Canada Day this year, Tim Horton’s, a very popular coffee and donut chain in Canada, release an “Ehmoji Canadian Keyboard”, and app for iPhones and Android phones which comes with 12 unique, Canadian emojis!
So let’s celebrate Canada Day, eh?

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