Coventry & Warwickshire

'Emoldjis': Gran's call for older people's lives to be reflected

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Media captionThe emojis include ones showing back pain, bingo and spending the kids' inheritance

False teeth and bad back emojis, the brainchild of a frustrated grandmother, could soon be in use after being sent off for official approval.

Diane Hill, from Coventry, felt that existing smiling, sleepy and sad faces did not represent the lives and likes of older people.

The 56-year-old compiled her own "emoldjis" for the over 50s.

An artist sketched her ideas which were sent to off to the Unicode Consortium which regulates emoji updates.

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption Diane Hill said she felt there needed to be more emojis - like this one for back pain - to reflect the lives of older people
Image caption Grandmother Ms Hill, from Coventry, said she was pleased with the final designs

Ms Hill said: "I need something that shows pain because my back hurts, my knees hurt and I need emojis with glasses."

She came up with the idea as part of a BBC outreach project about how the media reflects the people and places around them.

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption A disapproving look from an older person could be made available to all

Local artist Chris Oxenbury was commissioned to formally design her suggestions and sketches which have now been sent off for approval.

If successful, smartphone users could see designs such as "older person looking disapproving over glasses", "spending the kids' inheritance", and "no budgie smugglers" just a thumb-swipe away.

"When I first saw them I thought they were fantastic," Ms Hill said.

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption An emoji for 'spending the kids' inheritance' could prove particularly popular with some older people, not so with a younger audience

"I love the 'spending the kids inheritance one'.

"I could send any of these emojis to my friends and they'd know what I mean."

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption 'Losing your false teeth' is another of the designs submitted for approval

Siobhan Harrison, from the Open Doors project at BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, said: "With new emoji characters only released by Unicode on an annual basis it could be over a year before Diane's emojis hit our screens but at least she has raised some interesting issues about how the media reflect older people's lives and had some fun along the way."

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption Older men in 'budgie smugglers' is a no-no to Ms Hill and has been added to the list

Experts said last year "emoji language" is the fastest growing in the UK with millions of people choosing the digital images over written text.

The word emoji literally means "picture" (e) + "character" (moji) in Japanese and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.

Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption "Memory pills" is another image wanted to reflect life for the over 50s
Image copyright Chris Oxenbury
Image caption Finally, a bingo emoji - surely an essential image for young and old?

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