Re: Exact definition of "emoji"?

From: Markus Scherer (
Date: Mon Dec 22 2008 - 13:20:37 CST

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 7:09 AM, Karl Pentzlin <>wrote:

> Maybe I have overlooked something, but I did not find an exact
> definition of "emoji" by which can be decided whether any symbol is an
> emoji or not.
> According to Wikipedia:
> "Emoji (絵文字, Emoji?) is the Japanese name for the picture characters
> or emoticons used in Japanese wireless messages and webpages."
> (However, as the term "emoji" literally means "picture character", thus
> it only coincidentally sounds like "emoticon"?)
> Taking this as definition, a symbol has to be checked whether it
> occurs in Japanese wireless messages or webpages to determine whether
> it is an emoji. This is obviously not a falsifiable criterion, thus it
> is not appropriate as a formal definition.

I don't see that there needs to be a formal definition at all. We are
proposing to encode symbols that are encoded as characters in Japanese cell
phone systems, and the formal proposal document will have the proposed name,
glyph and code point for each symbol. Terms like "Emoji" are useful in
discussing where these things are defined and used, that is, part of the
background information.


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