kottke.org posts about Lewis Carroll

Emoji rebus puzzlesJan 09 2014

Rebus And Emoji

Using pictures to represent words dates back to Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese pictographs. But in the 1500s in France, a particular format of picture writing called the rebus was invented. A rebus is a word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words (or parts of words). The rebus became very popular in Europe and elsewhere. Here's a French rebus from 1592:

French Rebus

Alice in Wonderland's author, Lewis Carroll, was fond of rebuses...here's the first page of a letter he wrote in 1869:

Lewis Carroll Rebus

Compare the rebus with the use of emoji on mobile devices and social media, like this emoji version of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song:

Emoji Rebus

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