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July 17 aka 'World Emoji Day' is the only day with its own calendar emoji

| Monday, July 17, 2017, 12:09 p.m.

Why tell someone you love them when you can send them a cute, yellow face with a big smile and heart eyes.

Emojis have increasingly become part of our language, whether from our phones, computers or IRL (in real life).

So to celebrate emojis, Emojipedia, has christened July 17 World Emoji Day .

Why? Because that's the date on the calendar emoji.

The emoji language continues to expand. Unicode, the organization responsible for managing the world's emojis, recently added 56 new characters . Among them are a face vomiting green goo, a vampire, a tyrannosaurs rex and a pretzel.

Apple will include the new emojis in updates later this year.

Emojis are more than just cute characters used in text messages and Facebook Messenger. Not only will they star in their own movie, due out July 28, but emojis are turning into a serious course of study.

A study released this year from Chatham University showed that emojis can help convey emotion, especially joy.

"Emojis are inherently playful," Monica Riordan, assistant professor of psychology, told the Tribune-Review in May when the study was released. "Adding an emoji to a text message makes it more positive."

Lauren B. Collister, a librarian at the University of Pittsburgh who studies language and the internet, said emojis are an evolution of our language .

"They are basically humans adapting their written language to a more informal medium," Collister told the Tribune-Review last year.

Written communication has traditionally been formal — books, letters, term papers — and spoken communication informal, like conversations at the bar. Technology, however, has allowed those chats over drinks to happen via text messages, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook and more. It's a direction the written word never thought it would go.

"They add style and flair," Collister said. "They're just a way to help us add that extra meaning to our language that we miss out on in just text."

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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