From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Oct 13 2007 - 20:48:42 CDT
Andreas Stötzner wrote:
> Good heavens, no. “Emoticons”, “dingbats” are just slang terms which
> are used by technicians (who rule the standardisation business) instead
> of professional definitions. “Symbols” is still regarded by many as a
> kind of playground off the serious track of “text”. This is the
I don't know why you think that emoticons and dingbats are identical. They
differ greatly in their usage, notably a dingbat doesnot express the
intention or feeling or emotion of the writer. Emoticons area form of
ideographic script for avoiding a sentence and using something that is more
expressive and most often very explicit (much more than smileys that are the
most reduced forms of emoticons restricted to plain-text using some form of
ASCII Arts include smileys but are larger than that, allowing to draw some
simple diagrams, up to representing full grey images (remember the large
"images" printed on folded paper rolls in the 1970's, when there was still
no graphic printers...).
Emoticons are mid-way between smileys and icons/images. They are quite
explicit but not realist they are not intended to represent the effective
appearance of the subject but to use still a symbolic visual association
(like in smileys), most often in a fun too look animated character (most
often derived from the famous Pac Man game character).
Most smileys can be converted to emoticons, but not all. (for example look
for the series about the Cow smileys: they are multiline and meaningful only
when using a monospaced font; look also into smileys commonly found at the
bottom of plain-text emails or newsgroup posts within signatures: many of
them are decorative and combine a imaged character within a decorative
scene, using some fascinating Ascii-Art).
Many emoticons can be converted to smileys, but not all (in fact most of the
recent emoticons can't be converted this way, but can be converted to text
only by some short (often localized) symbolic name (which is the way they
are input in many online forums or chat rooms, or even on mobile phones that
support a few of them, allowing a user to associate some sumbolic string,
improbable in the language, to a small icon).
Some have argued that abbreviations like LOL or ROTFL or RTFM would be
smileys or emoticons. For me they are just abbreviations without any
graphical associations, often used to avoid some words rejected by filters.
These are part of the abusive "SMS language" and have no meaning except in
the origin language from which they are derived.
The "SMS language" includes smileys, many "normal" abbreviations for slang
words, abusive orthographic abbreviations like "ITS4U" instead of "it's for
you" where letters are read as they are spelled individually... Some of
these abbreviations may become new common words in the vernacular language
(LOL for example) because they are readable without spelling each letter.
Some "normal" abbreviations will be rewritten by adding the missing letters
that are spelled (for example "cédérom" in French, which is a literal
orthography for a neologism derived from the vocal spelling of letters in
the English abbreviation "CDROM"). But there are many historical examples
for words from which the original abbreviation has been lost, even
---- Regarding the name "Dingbats", it is named like this only because of a popular Adobe font popularized in Postscript printers (popularized itself by Apple in MacOS). It used its own encoding, distinct from all other encodings, and the order of the encoding has been preserved in the Unicode/ISO 10646 block, because this font was so popular that it was referenced in many documents. The Dingbats symbols were popular because they covered most of the typographic needs for bullets, arrows, stars, and basic geometric symbols that are used in lots of books. That's why it was encoded as is: this was justified by actual usage, and by a de facto standard Encoding, implied in many documents, and whose simple roundtrip mapping was the best option. The font is still supported on almost all Postscript printers, and also frequent now in PCL printers, although this is no longer needed when the OS supports it in its own fonts (now encoded with Unicode without depending on the legacy Dingbats encoding) and knows how to print graphic bands or how to upload reusable custom font glyphs to the printer. Microsoft has defined its own set of symbols named "Webdings" to extend the Dingbats subset. However many of the symbols had other existing encodings and the rest was redistributed within multiple coherent blocks by function or summary description, for finding them more easily, and create more coherent sets. Now Unicode is no more constrained by legacy encodings. The newer blocks will be allocated more logically without depending on encodings that don't exist (in fact if encodings are ever created, they will first be made by basing them on the Unicode and ISO/IEC 10646 encoding order in the block where the characters will be allocated first).
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Oct 13 2007 - 20:50:44 CDT