The strange appeal of pandemic emoji

News that Apple has updated its emoji range to include pictograms specific to the pandemic may either disgust you or inspire you to send a volley of missives out immediately. As an emojiste, I am in the latter camp. I am delighted that I now have a bandaged heart, a dizzy face with spiral eyes, a face exhaling with exhaustion and, of course, a bloodless syringe in my emoji lexicon. My nearest and dearest WhatsApp interlocutors may groan but I simply don’t care. Far from an erosion of linguistic standards, I see emojis as an exciting semiotic advance. I only wish that Roland Barthes, the grand French semiotician of the