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Why No Emoji for "Bullshit?"

Some people do get enjoyment from visiting Native American petroglyphs, but I am not one of them. You could say the fault is mine. But it would help if the whole subject was stripped of its sanctimoniousness, Noble Savage romanticism, and the pop-cultural baggage of the 1960s. Then I could look on it the way you look on other ancient writing systems.

Wikipedia had a good article on the history of writing systems. By the way, don't be scared off of the topic because you confuse it with linguistics. Linguistics articles are horrendously technical and impossible to understand.

It is easy to believe it was a huge step upward for civilization when written symbols went from picturing tangible things or numbers to conveying ideas or the sounds of a spoken language (which can then convey ideas.)

So the topic is inherently interesting, given a chance. But rather than look backward, perhaps we should consider the significance of a new contemporary writing system, the emoji.

My new phone has Android 9. The number of emojis has become so excessive that it's almost unusable. They don't make good picto-grams or ideo-grams because I can't figure out what idea they are attempting to convey.

Meanwhile, there are ideas that need to be conveyed, and I can't find the appropriate emoji. Let's start from a blank piece of paper. What is the most important idea in any language?

It is the word, 'No'. Is it a coincidence that so many languages that use the Latin alphabet express the negative with a word that starts with 'n'? 'No' is one of the first and important words a child learns -- it keeps them from burning their hands on the stove or cutting their finger with the knife. And it has a few other applications.

I did a search of the list of emojis for 'no', and came up with some pretty lame pictograms.

The second most important word in any language is 'bullshit', because it is impossible to understand politics, religions and ideologies, powerful groups, popular culture, or the Media, without this crucial word. In fact, if you heard information from just about any source on planet earth, on any topic, and your first reaction was, "Oh bullshit!", you would be correct well over 95% of the time, and waste very little time and energy on it. (And over 99% of the time if you are watching television.)

But again, search through the list of emojis on Android 9, and you won't find anything satisfactory, despite the fact that a child could make a simple crayon drawing of an adequate ideo-gram. Perhaps one of those symbols (if they are symbols) on the Native American petroglyphs took care of this crucial concept.


petroglyphs are graffiti done by bored folks in olden times.
Ed, you seem to be able to find ANYTHING on the internet. I am a terrible searcher.

Barney, It is quite possible that petroglyphs don't really "mean" anything. That was the usual evolution in the early stages of other writing systems around the world. But the standard park/BLM prose is: "The meaning of these petroglyphs remains a mystery to this today." I think they are just trying to manufacture a tourist trap with prose like that.
Zoebios121 said…
At least the way I use emoji is like exclamation marks: less is more, simpler is better. Thumbs down, one of the orig emoji, suffices as no and poop is bull. As you get more elaborate emojis, it tends to merge with meme culture.
Anonymous said…
My guess, bored adolescent sheepherders or watchmen