Earlier this year Christine went to a talk at SXSW called ‘The Linguistic Secrets Found in Billions of Emoji’, she wrote all about the secrets in her blog post.
If emojis have become a type of language support, are they capable of forming a certain tone too?
Supposedly sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but that doesn’t seem to stop people using emojis to convey their contempt. The only trouble is, which emoji(s) is best to show it?
Emoji-loving friends. Please tweet me the emojis you use when you want to show you're being sarcastic (it's for a blog post). Yeah thanks 🙄— Christine Cawthorne (@crocstar) September 23, 2016
We asked, and you replied, with scathing emojis. Here’s a few of our favourites:
😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒😒— Daz Ahern (@DazAhern) September 23, 2016
“Just stepped in a huge puddle.”
I think that a 👍🏻 gets the point across— Ellen Holcombe (@EllsiBells) September 23, 2016
Pretty self explanatory: the thumbs-up, indicating approval. But, this seemingly positive signal has turned into a mocking symbol, used for surly sarcasm. Instead of congratulating your friends with a thumbs-up when they’ve achieved something good, now it’s often used as the complete opposite.
“Did you finish your essay?”
“No, I fell asleep watching Stranger Things. Worth it.”
The grimacing face (not to be confused with this similar emoji) is often used when something has gone wrong, like when you send an email and notice you’ve made a spelling mistake. The eye roll proved a regular with the sarcastic souls that answered our question. It’s also particularly useful for showing a complete disinterest.
If you’re super sassy like Lynne, you’re not afraid to say how you feel. Bypassing eye rolls and grimaces, she goes for the full on middle finger extended. Woah.
The thinking face. Often used to show that you’re deep in thought. Yet this thinker has become a way to throw serious shade.
Now, it seems that this emoji is used to show someone that you’re thinking about whether you are interested in what they’re saying, or even if you believe them or not. Garry sums it up pretty well, with a seemingly anecdotal tale:
If you’re bored of using the same old smileys, some like to refer to people instead. The lady below is called information desk person.
If you haven’t heard of this title before, you’re not alone. In fact the emoji girl seems to confuse us all. She’s also known as ‘hair flick girl’ and ‘sassy emoji’.
If you work in a hotel, or a restaurant (some feel she looks like she’s holding a tray of drinks) you might use information desk person often, if not, she’s great for being sassy and sarcastic. It’s all in the wrist.
This is the new moon with face. Want to use something totally weird and wild to show sarcasm? Try this. This new moon is also known as the ‘creepy moon’. Ok, so it’s not your go-to emoji, but sometimes it’s good to be different.
Moon face not enough for you hipsters out there? Try eyes. This pair can be used to indicate approval (often used on Instagram to show your appreciation for someone’s selfie: ‘pervy eyes’).
This can also be applied when you want to convey sarcasm, or disbelief. Try it when your friend is telling you a story that sounds a tad far-fetched.
Finally. The moment you’ve been waiting for – the ultimate emoji to convey irony and contempt:
The upside-down smiley or ‘sarcasm smiley’ – it’s no wonder that we use it so often.
Supposedly it’s meant to portray a sense of foolishness or hysteria, but it’s become a perfect way to show sarcasm. During our Facebook/Twitter outreach, upside-down smiley featured the most.
Arguably this is because it’s a pretty recent feature (part of iOS 9.1 update), maybe the novelty will wear off, but we doubt it. Or perhaps the emoji is so ambiguous – just try and do an upside-down smiley face – that it’s ideal for various situations.
Either way, this seems to be the best emoji to use. Whether you replace words entirely, or you add it to the end of your sarcastic sentence, use it well.
Do you have a favourite emoji you use when you want to be super sarcastic that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.