It started out as a way of conveying emotions in electronic communications, because the one thing that quickly gets lost when writing something in a text or email, is a sense of humour.

People tried using exclamations marks to show they were joking, but that just got a bit shouty. And really, really annoying when people started going all Bridget Jones and using dozens of the damn things.

So people started using punctuation to make little faces, to show what they were feeling. And mighty creative they were too. In fact, they’re still evolving - have you seen the shrug that’s doing the rounds again recently: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯? Brilliant.

But the smartphone and its graphics capabilities changed all that and the emoji was born.

For a quick reminder of the dazzling array, take a look at, where they will fly at you with alarming speed and regularity.

This won’t help you understand what most of them are supposed to mean, but it’s an entertaining distraction for a Friday.