I regret to inform you that the Face With Tears of Joy emoji is over. It is not cool anymore. It is actually hated.

This is quite a fall; in 2015, it was the word of the year, according to the Oxford Dictionary, leading many to believe that the august institution had been taken over by monkeys. That, of course, was an exaggeration. Only a few monkeys were involved in the decision. But many wondered why the Face With Tears of Joy was word of the year when it was not, in fact, a word at all, but an irritating, cartoony, infantile hieroglyphic with a name like a cheap firework.

Let us go to Emojipedia, the definitive source for describing these pestilence items, for a full definition:

"A yellow face with a big grin, uplifted eyebrows, and smiling eyes, each shedding a tear from laughing so hard. Widely used to show something is funny or pleasing."

It's emotion-inflation, in other words. No one, when they find something pleasing, convulses in laughter so hard that their eyes leak. But why has Face With Tears of Joy been canceled? You might not like the answer.

First, though, we have incoming news: There are new emojis coming in the next iPhone update!!!!! (Tears of Excitement Emoji, Thumbs Up Emoji, Losing Bladder Control Emoji.)

Perhaps I am jaded and ungrateful, but a news story about all the new emojis coming to my phone does not fill me with giddy anticipation. For one thing, when they say the little icons are coming to my phone in the next upgrade, it sounds as it they are marching into the charging port while I sleep, one by one.

One of the new emojis is useful: a syringe. There's always been a syringe, but previously it was dripping with blood. Now it's clear, so you can use it to communicate that you got vaccinated. Of course, you could text the words "I got vaccinated!" to someone, but that's like a whole six syllables, and who has time for that?

"What about new faces?" you ask, because obviously you care about this subject. There is a sad face that is exhaling steam to indicate exhaustion, a face with spiral eyes to indicate confusion and a face partially obscured by clouds to indicate that you have fallen out of an airplane.

"They didn't take any away, did they?" you ask. "What would I do without Face With Horns and Steam Shooting From Ears?" Well, you'd have to go back to the old ways. You know, you got peeved during a phone conversation, so you'd stop, hang up, draw an angry face, send it on a postcard, then pick up the conversation after it had been delivered.

I'm kidding. (Smiling emoji, but not the one with the eyes shut in painful glee.) Before emojis, we had abbreviations, which are still used. LOL for laughing out loud, which no one did, and LMAO, which indicated laughter so strong that it forcibly severed your posterior, and of course ROTFL, for rolling on the floor laughing, often doing so in a way that caused your buttocks to detach (ROTFLMAO). These still infect text conversations, although usually people are content to say LOL, with a straight face, in absolute silence.

I've avoided those, since "Hah!" usually suffices. I find that people appreciate the honesty.

"Oh," you say, "this sounds like someone who just doesn't get texting. You're out of it." Au contraire. (Face with beret and unfiltered cigarette emoji.) I have been texting with Daughter for years, a lot, and I know the conventions. For example, I know how not to use punctuation.

"Give me a call" — No big deal.

"Give me a call." — Someone died.

If Daughter texts, "Hey do you have a moment" it's probably an invitation to discuss something she learned in class, for the joy of chatting with Dad! But "Hey, do you have a moment?" means "I'm going to ask for money."

Anyway, back to why Laughing Face With Tears of Joy is now uncool. Let's go back to Emojipedia, where someone blogged: "It's common wisdom on TikTok that the laughing crying emoji is for boomers. And by boomers, I mean anyone over the age of 35."

The old people, you see, use the emojis literally, whereas the younger folk who grew up saturated with internet culture find inventive ways to repurpose emojis in ways only understood by their demographic cohort. If they use Laughing With Tears of Joy, it's ironic, meaning they are not laughing at all, and they're making fun of you, Mom.

CNN also declared it over, quoting an internet expert: "If you indicate digital laughter for years and years in the same way, it starts to feel insincere."

In other words, people were genuinely weeping with amusement before, but now their expressions of convulsive laughter seem insincere?

Dazed face emoji with cowboy hat and steam coming out of head. Whatever that means.

james.lileks@startribune.com • 612-673-7858 • Twitter: @Lileks • facebook.com/james.lileks