Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Dec 25 2008 - 16:26:44 CST

Asmus Freytag wrote:

> Punctuation marks are not the only devices beyond letters that people
> feel are necessary to employ as distinction between otherwise identical
> statements. Publishers, editors and authors of books in English, but not
> necessarily all other European languages, occasionally seem to find it
> necessary to employ italics to disambiguate between two possible
> interpretations of a given sequence of words.

Indeed. But that is typography -- a 'higher level protocol' -- not
character encoding. The question is not whether emoticons are used or
may be useful, but whether the kind of information that they seek to
convey belongs in plain text. I think it is consistent with type size
selection, font style selection, and other articulatory aspects of
display above the plain text level.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Gulf Islands, BC
The Lord entered her to become a servant.
The Word entered her to keep silence in her womb.
The thunder entered her to be quiet.
             -- St Ephrem the Syrian

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