Monday, November 21, 2016

Someone doesn't like emojis

One of my favorite aspects of C&EN's letters to the editors is the occasional grumpy reader: 
The editorial on science emojis really scraped the bottom of the barrel (C&EN, Nov. 14, page 3). Emojis are nothing more than an indication that their users are incapable of expressing themselves with words. The C&EN reporter who had been invited to attend Emojicon should have declined, saying, “Chemists do not need emojis because they can actually read and write words.” 
Originality and wit cannot be summoned on command on a weekly basis—I understand that. But if Editor-in-Chief Bibiana Campos Seijo cannot come up with something meaningful to say in her column, it’s perfectly all right to forgo the column every now and then. Fill the space instead with letters to the editor or with readers’ photographs of the views from their laboratories. Filling a page of a respectable publication with illiteracy-promoting drivel was an unfortunate choice. 
Dean Meyer
Winder, Ga.
No one I know would ever fill space with letters to the editor or reader photos of views from their laboratories...


  1. The real laugher here is that he considers C&EN a respectable publication.

  2. While I agree utilization of emoji's would not normally be appropriate in scientific communications I think there could be context to find effective in reinforcing particular message regarding characteristics of some chemicals. I think of the "Mr Yuck" stickers applied to household bottles to warn children of dangers and similar immediate signals that can be provided in less technical jargon.

    Likewise not sure agree that "Chemists do not need emojis because they can actually read and write words" is always true since often rely heavily on chemical symbols and structures instead of words to express their work. Even in casual scientific discourse without a chalk-, now white-, board I can feel constricted in ability to complete a conversation.

  3. lol, googling around suggests that Dean is not the crusty old gent who typically vents to C&EN, but a young-ish female scientific editor. Perhaps she just values words over pictures because of that. (She is still wrong, imho: i tell people all the time we're in a post-literate age.)

    1. C+E News - breaking stereotypes one cranky letter to the editor at a time.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20