[Ads-l] plural of "emoji"

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 10 14:38:09 UTC 2020

> On 9 Jan 2020, at 19:51, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 9:57 PM Laurence Horn wrote:
>>> On Jan 9, 2020, at 9:34 PM, James Landau wrote:
>>> In today's "WuMo" cartoon, there is a tombstone with the epitaph "Always
>> answered a text
>> and never used too many emoji". The cartoon seems to imply that "emoji"
>> is either its own plural,
>> Well, if “panini" can be its own singular (R.I.Panino), no reason why
>> “emoji" can’t be its own plural.
>>> like "sheep", or that it is a mass noun.
>> The former seems more likely, since “an emoji” is alive and well; there’s
>> even a sheep emoji (and no mass emoji).
> Not only that, if "emoji" were functioning as a mass noun, we'd expect "too
> much emoji" rather than "too many."
> Arnold Zwicky's 2001 paper "Counting Chad" nicely elucidates the
> difference between "zero-plurals" and mass nouns:
> http://web.stanford.edu/~zwicky/CountingChad.pdf
> I've cited Arnold's paper in some of my own observations on Language Log
> and elsewhere:
> "'Chad' back in the news" (LL, May 30, 2008)
> https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=203
> "Counting E-mails (and Spams)" (Word Routes, May 7, 2010)
> https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/counting-e-mails-and-spams/
> "'Too much Obama vote'" (LL, Nov. 7, 2012)
> https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4305
> <https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/counting-e-mails-and-spams/>
> As for the pluralization of "emoji," this Atlantic piece suggests the
> matter was undecided in 2016, and I'd say that's still the case four years
> on.
> https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/whats-the-plural-of-emoji-emojis/422763/
> As emoji expert Gretchen McCulloch points out in the article, the
> zero-plural follows how we typically treat Japanese loanwords like "kanji"
> (in accordance with zero-pluralization in Japanese itself). But the "-s"
> plural (which is preferred by the AP Manual and other style guides) has
> grown in popularity as the word has become more fully nativized in English.
> "Emojis are" beats out "emoji are" by about 2 to 1 in the online corpora
> I've checked.

FWIW, I heard a 10-year-old say “emojis” last night. BB
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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