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Only emojis were used to create this real estate listing for the White House

sxsl to performers announced white house washington dc
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Just how much can you really say with emojis? It turns out, the language is huuge.

As the Unicode Consortium continues to add to our arsenal of adorable icons (each gem worth 1,000 words, of course) communicating in emoji and emoji alone is becoming something of an art. There are 845 emoji characters commonly supported across most platforms, Emojipedia claims, with 1,620 emojis supported in iOS 9.1. So really, the possibilities are endless. And for Zoe Mendelson, a long-form emoji enthusiast, one of those possibilities was creating a real estate listing for the White House with naught but emojis.

BHGRE-Emoji
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The impressive undertaking, commissioned by BHGRE, was no small task — as enjoyable as it might be to communicate in glyphs and pictographs alone, our evolution as literate human beings has perhaps taken a toll on our imagination. But Mendelson’s take on the White House is pretty spot on.

The emoji-centric listing includes all the most important information about the presidential mansion, including the number of bedrooms (there are 16), the number of bathrooms (a whopping 35), and the square footage (55,000!). How did she represent square feet? Literally, of course, with the emoji of a square and one of a shoe (close enough).

But then, moving beyond logistics, things got really interesting. In the “About This Home” section, BHGRE and Mendelson took on the challenging task of explaining that the White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is a vast estate custom-crafted for leaders of the free world. The emojis for “Pennsylvania Avenue” are pretty clever — a pencil and then a van emoji are followed by the and A emojis, then a road that works just as well as anything else for “Avenue.” The last part of the sentence, however, “a vast estate custom-crafted for leaders of the free world,” requires a bit more free interpretation.

Judge for yourself how well you’re able to translate her emojis into English.

In addition to some of these more detailed descriptions of the White House, Mendelson also included listing details (the White House boasts a master bathroom, a workshop, mudroom, laundry room, and more), as well as amenities like the washer and dryer, and additional features like the intercom and tennis court. Oh, and of course, the added bonus of a famous Steinway piano.

If nothing else, Mendelson’s creation certainly proves what’s still missing from our emoji database. And the posting’s limitations show something else: If we’re perfectly honest, we’re still a ways away from being able to fully communicate sans written word.

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Lulu Chang
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