What does emoji define that pictogram doesn't?

Or even, rebus.

Come to think of it, is it all just an ideogrammatization of English, borrowing from our friends who speak Kanji?

Is the emoji just something that people do because they can...because we write with computers not on paper?

Or is it like the California girls of 1971 who put smiley faces over their i's and j's

Who did that first?

And why don't they have patent protection?

I can't believe JBITSMFOTP wasn't even in the running. But then WOTY has always been a beauty contest.
Are emoji the logograms of the Western present? Here is 'crying tears of joy' in Hanzi (traditional Chinese) 喜極而泣.
I feel smarter just scanning that DFW article.
@1, Chinese and Japanese "ideograms" (you are sort of using that wrong, but I know what you mean) are words/phrases, with the same accuracy as any English word or phrase. Likewise pictograms substitute pretty accurately for a word or phrase (ie, "Men" or "School Zone").
Emoji's are different. They are supremely annoying because they lack accuracy. They are only artsy pictures that express emotions, but no subtle thought process. They are NO substitute for spoken or written language, in my opinion. I know I sound like: "get off my lawn/gaaaah, kids nowadays!" but seriously?

(I also can't see them very well in my emails and on my phone, with my eyes the way they are, (even though I read text just fine), but that is MY issue, I know).

@1, again. They are not appropriate subject material for patent protection. They are appropriate for copyright protection, but no one would do that since the idea is to have them used as widely possible.
Edit: I take that back; a few emoji's are copyrighted, even though most of them that you see are from some open source thingy.
喜びの涙を泣きます....just wanted to see what the Kanji looked like. Oh cool, same word for something, there.
Well, apparently I have it all wrong about emoji's…
More relevant to Slog: One of the runners-up was "They" used as the singular human pronoun.
@ 7 incorrect, not nominalized.
Which words made the shortlist? (Scroll down)…

They also have a string of source code that I presume is the emoji in question, but Slog can't read it.
Didn't they have a hashtag win last year? How is this terribly different? Neither are actual words or evolutions in the English language, just ways for the Oxford Dictionary to seem trendy and hip.
The choice of 😂 for WOTY is also an indication of the mutual shaping of society and technology, which is awesome. Not just semiotic, but ontological entanglement, e.g., "My initial reaction to this news WAS the emoji itself, 😂." ahhhh civilizational shift a la fuedal society to urban living n all dat
uh, feudal

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