Photo illustration by Slate.

There Are 157 New Emojis. These Ones Are Actually Useful.

New emojis, again? I haven’t even gotten around to using the last batch yet! On Wednesday, the Unicode Consortium, the organization responsible for the standardization of emojis, added 157 new ones to the emoji keyboard, bringing the total number of emojis to 2,823, which is frankly more emojis than any human can keep track of. For every redhead emoji (finally!), there’s a less useful-seeming counterpart. (Uh, hi, smiling face with three hearts, I guess we’ll have to figure out exactly when to use you and not the heart-eyes emoji.) Which of the new emojis will earn a place in your “Frequently Used” folder, and which ones will prove as useful as Squared CJK Unified Ideograph-6709? Read on.

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Useful: Pirate flag
Throw this baby up anytime you’re breaking the rules.

Not useful: Severed foot
Unless you’re Margot Robbie.

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Useful: Lacrosse
This one will come in very handy for talking about a certain class of bros, i.e., the ones that are so lax. Heck, those bros will probably embrace its use to talk about themselves. Want to specify the vibe at a preppy bar? Lacrosse emoji all the way. You may also use this emoji to symbolize rugby and water polo bros until more specific options emerge, which they inevitably will.

Not useful: Softball
I thought this one was a tennis ball, but upon further inspection, it is a softball. Did everyone but me know that softballs were highlighter-yellow versions of baseballs? That’s certainly possible. But emojis live and die on their instant recognizability, and I sense that will be a problem for the ol’ softball.

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Useful: Abacus
For when you’re trying to work something out and you need the lady with all the math equations in emoji form.

Not useful: Supervillain
This is more a knock on Emojipedia’s sample images (on which various tech platforms will iterate their particular versions) than the concept of the supervillain emoji. It’s just that the main difference between the superheroes and supervillains seems to be relative hair neatness and color of uniform. Not all superheroes wear capes, so why can’t it also be true that some of them favor purple suits and the self-consciously styled bed head look?

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Useful: Chess piece
Use this one when you’ve just outsmarted someone. Checkmate!

Not useful: Leafy greens
Get out of here with this Michael Pollan baloney! (Did someone say bologna? :sandwich emoji:)

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Useful: Lobster
To promote tourism in the state of Maine; to suggest dinner plans; to convey that you want to get your claws on something; to express the feminist wish that human society would take a cue from mutant, self-cloning crayfish … a very multipurpose emoji.

Not useful: Mango
If emoji customs dictate that produce have a sexual connotation—the eggplant and the peach being among the ripest—then what should we do with this asymmetrical thing, a lumpier and misshapen version of its more appetizing fruitmoji cousins? If you find yourself using this emoji on the regular, well, uh, 🤢.

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