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Emoji allow communication without words. Could emoji be the universal language of the 21st century? Matt Gray and Tom Scott, founders of the emoji-only messaging platform emoj.li, talk through the pitfalls; and History Today's Dr Kate Wiles finds the 500- and 5,000-year-old precedents for emoji.
CONTENT WARNING: this episode contains one category B swear word, plus references to penises growing on trees.
- There is a transcript of this episode here.
- Keep up to date with all matters emojional at Emojipedia.
- Learn more about cuneiform and poor old St Audrey.
- Read the Luttrell Psalter. Or Emoji Dick, if you must. (Try before you buy.)
- It should have been a portent of Things To Come that at age six, my favourite of the Just So Stories was the one about the alphabet being invented. It's Rudyard Kipling's own spin on cuneiform, pretty much.
- Why the interrobang never really took off. It's the "That's so fetch!" of punctuation.
- Your summer beach read: Unicode.
- The more medieval marginalia you find, the better they get. Here are some choice cuts, and there are many more at Got Medieval; read Kate Wiles herself on the topic; read an explanation as to why so many involve knights fighting snails; or if you can't be bothered to read, just watch the video I made for you:
I made the video using Animoto, who sponsor this episode. Visit animoto.com/words to try out their easy video-making tools; and if you sign up for a pro account, you can get 15% off if you use the code WORDS. I'm still lost in their music library...
This episode is also sponsored by Squarespace.com. Build yourself a spiffy website - like this one! - and get 10% off their services for a year by using the code ALLUSION.
MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Dr Kate Wiles is contributing editor at History Today and appears on their podcast.
- Matt Gray and Tom Scott brought the emoji-only messenger Emoj.li to life and now they're putting it to death.
- All the music in this episode is by Martin Austwick. Hear and/or download more at thesoundoftheladies.bandcamp.com.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks very much to the Soho Theatre in London for letting me record there.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow and twitter.com/helenzaltzman.