There are emoticons, there are kaomojis, and there are emojis.
I had no idea.
Emoticons are sideways expressions made out of punctuation ;) .
Kaomojis are the same thing, but come the right way up *.* .
Emojis are pictures, the smiley face sort of things:
HERE are twenty titles of great works of literature in emojis for you to decode if you feel like it. If that's too easy, then there's always Fred Berenson's Emoji Dick, which tells the whole story in the same form.
If you can't be bothered with that, then here an tweeted epithalamium by Andy Murray describing, obviously, his wedding day.
Should we sneer at this sort of thing? I don't see why we should. Emojis are limited, but then so is written English. I mean, you have to be able to read English for it to make any sense at all.
Emojis were dreamt up by Shigetaka Kurita in 1998 or 1999 to use on mobile phones. They've got around quite a bit since then.
Lazy? Vulgar? Illiterate?
But probably no more often than is written English.
Nuts and Bolts: emoji. This Japanese word means pictograph, and is made up of e, picture, and moji, character.