Author Carol Lawarance


The word challenge this week is another English word that shows the evolution and nuances that evolve over centuries as the word co-joins with other words or phrases that add nuances.

Here are just a few samples: blockbuster, roadblock, (two words nuanced to mean both physical and mental), chip off the old block, usually related to father and son and then block and chain, often in context of wives.  Just shows how our social biases and discrimination reflect in our words and phrases.

The nuances of English words are easy as I have used English all my life but I now face a much greater challenge in communication

Emoji, which is a small digital image or icon to express ideas or emotion, etc.   This is another case of rapid evolution of “language”.  What started simply as a happy or sad face has become very complex.

Two emojis together create a new message or a nuance.  I now receive a string of emojis that are supposed to be express an idea, in a sentence or phrase.  I am totally baffled and I now know what illiteracy feels like.

However, hold on, I have just begun to find my way by discovering the emoji dictionary that promises me a way of understanding what the little pictures means before I send an awkward text.  That is not likely what I will do, reticent as I am with my lack of understanding, but the dictionary will help me interpret what people send it me. I look forward to expanding my emoji repertoire beyond happy or sad face and like or dislike.  You still can teach an old dog new trick…..if you have the emoji dictionary!