[Ads-l] Moji (not "moji")

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 6 13:37:31 EDT 2016


Note also the rise of "bitmoji" for personalized bits of comic art created
by Bitstrips, recently acquired by Snapchat.

http://fortune.com/2016/03/24/exclusive-snapchat-buys-bitmoji-maker/

As with Skype's Moji, bitmoji don't really resemble emoji, though they can
serve something of the same social function, providing image-based
reactions or metacommentary to spice up a text-based conversation. At the
very least, it demonstrates the availability of "-moji" as a kind of libfix
(to use Arnold Zwicky's term), far removed from the original Japanese
meaning of "moji."

--Ben


On Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 12:49 PM, Benjamin Barrett <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Skype (owned by Microsoft) has just added a series of extremely short
> video clips (about three to four seconds) to augment their emoticons for
> text chatting. They are taken from sources such as films and cartoons. For
> example, you can send one of Miss Piggy saying, “’Tis moi,” at
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxprp-uGOEM.
>
> They call these clips “Mojis” and please capitalize it because, well,
> because it derives from a foreign word, I guess.
>
> The word moji has occurred on this list at least in the form of mojibake (
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mojibake, nothing on the Oxford
> Dictionaries site). The word “moji” in Japanese simply means “glyph” (
> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moji), making Skype’s usage opaque and
> creating a false friend.
>
> No official complete list is available of all the Mojis but they seem to
> be overwhelmingly male. Skype seems aware of this problem as they have
> issued a set (a classification scheme) called “Power Women.” They have also
> issued Power Women emoticons.
>
> A laudatory article on these Power Women glyphs (can a video be a glyph?)
> can be seen at http://www.bustle.com/articles/165123-skypes-power-
> women-mojis-emoticons-are-literally-changing-our-image-of-women.
>
> What the article-writer seems to not notice is that the need for a Power
> Women set instead of just emoticon/Moji sets that have a mix of men and
> women is itself an indication that Skype remains stuck in an androcentric
> mindset. Well, maybe it’s just that techies tend to be men and the best
> roles in Hollywood also tend to go to men, and so none of their committees
> thought about the issue. Whoops, that would be an indication that they are
> stuck in an androcentric mindset….
>
> It appears also that Skype has no emoticons or Mojis to represent non-cis
> communities.
>
>

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