Re: Emoji: Public Review December 2008

From: David Starner (
Date: Sun Dec 21 2008 - 09:31:36 CST

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 1:23 AM, Doug Ewell <> wrote:
> David Starner <prosfilaes at gmail dot com> wrote:
>> I'm not sure how much more needs to be said. Plain text is what people are
>> using as plain text.
> The philosophical/ethics response to this would be that if the boundaries of
> plain text are that subjective and fungible, then there really are no
> boundaries, and we ought to either (a) encode all text as images or (b)
> accept William Overington's proposals to define characters that mean PLEASE

Linguists have no problems with the concept that (a) a word means what
the speakers of a language use it to mean and (b) in English,
TELEPHONE does not mean ICE CREAM SUNDAE. We need a tool to encode
plain text, all plain text, as text in the long established manner
established by ASCII, Latin-1, SJIS, etc. That rules out (a). Certain
things are clearly plain text by long established rules; one or two
texts of Gothic or using Latin Capital Letter N with Long Right Leg
got them encoded. Other things aren't; Unicode didn't run out to
encode this hatching chick, for example. But enough use, and this set
seems to be in heavy use, extends what it means to be plain text. This
is not one man's wild proposal; this is a very well established set.

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