Grammar English Grammar in 2022: Make Way for the March of Emojis |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

English Grammar in 2022: Make Way for the March of Emojis

English, like any language, is a body in constant motion. We maintain a system of grammar and syntax to give it an understood structure and clarity, yet we also recognize that language adapts as times and people change. has always advocated for proper principles of grammar in daily formal writing. At the same time, we acknowledge the vital ability and willingness to listen and flex with popular usage.

Often thought of—nay, discounted—as a way to condense our written communications and assign the nonverbal components they lack, emojis have typically (and grudgingly) been assigned secondary citizenship. After much deliberation with grammarians, writers, and editors, including key consultants from The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style, we have determined this can no longer be their status.

In 2022, we will begin to gradually yet steadily include emojis where they properly fit in our discussions of American English. While we anticipate initial resistance from language purists and prescriptivists, we believe that even they will come to embrace the efficiency of using a single visual expression to convey what otherwise would require many words.

We believe this usage will help eradicate the drudgery that has long been accepted and tolerated: long, boring emails that make us want to reach for the whiskey sitting in a desk drawer since the holiday White Elephant exchange; blog posts that put us to sleep faster than a double dose of Benadryl; newsletters that get deleted faster than one can say “spam.”

We further understand that to properly usher this shift into efficient writing’s imminent future, we need to establish commonly understood meanings and usage for emojis, starting with the most popular. Consistent applications will then help determine any fine-tuning.

According to Business Insider, the following are the top 10 most used emojis worldwide. We will present them with examples of how our experts might apply them in daily formal writing that shows it is in step with the times.

😂 = I know I still owe you from last year’s Fantasy Football league. I’ll have it to you right away.

❤️ = I would appreciate if you didn’t mention I forgot to remove the size sticker from my new blouse.

🤣 = We both know what you just said wasn’t really that funny, but I still want you to think you’re funny, so I’ll oblige with as much sincerity as the guy in accounting who swears he is an Olympic soccer player by a different name.

👍🏻 = I’m not inclined to provide an authentic reaction, so here is how I accept your opinion with an actual grain of salt.

😭 = Thank you for letting me know your life is so much better than mine.

🙏🏻 = Good luck wished and many prayers said—unless we’re up for the same promotion, which means I’ll surely disclose the personal information you told me when you were four pints deep.

😘 = Yes, I saw the look you gave me at the copy machine, and if you don’t think I did, I’ll claim thick fingers all day long.

🥰 = I did something wrong. Very, very wrong. You should probably look in the driveway.

😍 = I answered the question “how do I look in these jeans?” It didn’t go well, and I’ll do anything to get back in your favor.

😊 = You said something really off-putting, but I don’t have the time or the will to let you know what a world-champion lout you are.

We understand that proper and consistent usage will require time, patience, and common commitment among language devotees. As your trusted partner in precise and eloquent communication, we are prepared to help you refine and sustain your use of these practical, space-saving symbols.

As you look ahead to more-economical ways of delivering thoughts and messages, here are a few more emojis you can begin to weave into your daily writing:

Per my last email = 🔙

Reattached for your convenience = 😑

My apologies if I was unclear the first time = 🙄

Just checking in to see how <insert project here> is coming along = 🤔

Maybe you meant to send this to someone else = 🤯

Per company policy = 👀

The written word can only get us so far in 2022 and beyond. Emojis are the wave of the future, and correspondence without them is “cringe” (as the kids would say).

If you have any questions, please ⭕️ 🔙, re-read this, and wish yourself a Happy April Fools’ Day!

If the article or the existing discussions do not address a thought or question you have on the subject, please use the "Comment" box at the bottom of this page.

6 responses to “English Grammar in 2022: Make Way for the March of Emojis”

  1. Russell T. Cross says:

    May I suggest that there is a critical need to include in this list the unmistakable emoji for “My hovercraft is full of eels.” I for one find rarely a day passes without having to make this vital comment.

  2. KrisSG says:

    I’m glad William Zinsser isn’t around to see this.

    And who came up with those interpretations of “the top 10 most used emojis worldwide?” Not one of them applied to situations where I’ve seen those emojis used.

    • says:

      We suggest you read the entire article down to the last line. You might be surprised.

  3. JoElla Horrocks says:

    Thank you for the light-heartedness of this email! I follow you faithfully and hope to live up to the unwritten expectations you set.

    However, I LOVE emojis! As much as we chat in Microsoft’s Teams, the use of their emojis is part of what makes communication work! They are relevant, current, and really help get meanings across with a touch of humor!

    Thanks for the April Fools Day laugh.

  4. Tom Bailey says:

    I am disappointed, disappointed that the above was just an April Fool’s joke. Of course it is funny, but even more, of course, we need more humor!

  5. Evenstar says:

    I was really confused until I realized this article came out on April 1st. Well done.

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