A study by Google has revealed that emojis – as fun as they might be – are destroying the English language.
Smiley faces, love hearts, thumbs up and other cartoon icons – rather than words – are the preferred method of communication by teenagers, who are considered the worst offenders regarding the decline in grammar and punctuation.
More than a third of British adults believe emojis are the reason for the deterioration in proper language usage, according to the study commissioned by the Google-owned site YouTube.
Of the two thousand adults, aged 16 to 65, who were asked their views, 94 per cent reckoned English was in a state of decline, with 80 per cent citing youngsters as the worst offenders.
The most common errors made by Brits are spelling mistakes (21 percent), followed closely by apostrophe placement (16 per cent) and the misuse of a comma (16 per cent).
More than half of British adults are not confident with their command of spelling and grammar, the study also found.
Furthermore, around three-quarters of adults rely on emoji to communicate, in addition to a dependence on predictive text and spell checking.
The use of emojis has seeped into our culture to such an extent that the Oxford Dictionary’s ‘Word of the Year’ in 2015 wasn’t actually a word at all – it was the Face With Tears emoji, which shows just how influential the little graphic images have become.
They were first used by Japanese mobile phone companies in the late 1990s to express an emotion, concept or message in a simple, graphic way.