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What you need to know about emoji

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Smiley face fart wind flying stack of money

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Emoji have become such an everyday part of my life that I can't remember my iPhone keyboard without the adorable icons. The tiny cartoon characters have been my go-to solution for Poe's Law, a way for me to express that my text messages should be read with the sobriety of a smiley face farting a stack of flying money.

As is a recurring theme on What's Tech?, I know little about the emoji despite relying on them. Are emoji the descendants of the ASCII art of the 1990s, or do they stem from the emoticons of AOL Instant Messenger? I invited The Verge's Senior Editor Ross Miller to explain the origin of emoji, how they became so ubiquitous, and what I must do to create an emoji of my own.

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