Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide : All Tech Considered A study analyzes more than a billion pieces of emoji data across 16 languages and regions to gauge how different nations communicate. Most emojis sent are happy faces and other positive symbols.
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Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

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Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

Canadians Love Poop, Americans Love Pizza: How Emojis Fare Worldwide

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/402003080/402514908" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There are universal languages, like love and music and math. And in the era of the smartphone, you can add emojis to that list.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yes, emojis. Those are those colorful, little icons - the happy face many people know - that have become essential for text messaging.

INSKEEP: Well, not quite essential. I get away without them.

MONTAGNE: (Laughter).

INSKEEP: But anyway, a new study by the British company SwiftKey analyzed how 800 different emojis are used in various languages across the globe.

JOE BRAIDWOOD: The overall thing we noticed is that 70 percent of all emojis sent are positive, and so that's probably a good thing that we're talking to each other positively and using emoji to enhance that.

INSKEEP: Smiley face.

MONTAGNE: That would be Joe Braidwood's opinion, SwiftKey's chief marketing officer. He says that no matter where you are, people mostly use happy faces. But that's not the whole story.

BRAIDWOOD: Where it gets really interesting is if you look at the quarter of emoji used by people that aren't happy faces or hearts or sad faces.

INSKEEP: For example, in Canada.

BRAIDWOOD: Canadians lead the charge in their use of money, violence, sports-related, raunchy and even the poop emoji.

INSKEEP: He just said that. Canadians love the smiling poop icon.

MONTAGNE: Americans are a close second to their northern neighbors in their use of the gun emoji. And down under, well, it's a party.

BRAIDWOOD: In Australia, we found that emojis that reference drugs, alcohol, junk food and holidays were used much more than any other nation.

INSKEEP: Right. Arabic speakers use the rose emoji 10 times more than any other group.

BRAIDWOOD: On a slightly less positive note, one of the really fascinating things that we found out is U.S. Spanish speakers were the most negative.

INSKEEP: Now, Braidwood says Spanish-speaking Americans are the heaviest users of the sad face.

MONTAGNE: Then there's the entire category of food emojis.

BRAIDWOOD: Pizza was one of the most frequently used in the U.S. as well as the chicken drumstick, and it sort of, I think, shows you that, versus other nations, you guys have particular food habits.

INSKEEP: Particular, which is one way of saying that Americans love greasy junk food. Maybe he said that with a winky face.

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