Re: Emoji survey

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Fri Dec 26 2008 - 10:58:16 CST

Christopher Fynn wrote:
> This What Japan Thinks survey <> is interesting. If this is to be beleived, it seems almost 80% of Japanese cell phone users sometimes or often use emoji - but most of these users are at best only "somewhat satisfied" with their emoji. The major reason for satisfation given is that the "Pictures are cute" while the major reason for disatiscation (72.2%) is that there are only a "Few kinds of emoji".
> My take on this is that it looks like there is ample reason for carriers to want to expand or change this set. ...
OK, that is a very interesting piece of information. It definitely
implies that the set of emoji should be considered "open," that vendors
are likely to want to add more of them. That probably is not in itself
an argument against encoding, since the CJK repertoire is open also.
But it is somewhat disturbing, since at least CJK glyphs get a certain
amount of vetting by popular usage, and the really unpopular ones either
drop out or at least get shunted off to some other plane.

Yaknow, it almost might be a good idea to put all the emoji (and
emoticons?) in their own plane. Think about it: a plane whose job it is
to provide cool cute pictures, 64K of characters to fill up, and
implementations that don't need emoji will find it easier to ignore a
higher plane.

That is, if they're encoded at all. I'm still in the "don't encode"
camp, and I think Doug Ewell makes some very significant points in his
arguments. And I, too, am frustrated that such things get pushed
through when actual scripts in use to write language go begging.
Unicode is for writing language, I thought.

I think it would bother me less if these emoji (except maybe for the
most popular and useful ones) were pushed off into a reserved plane (or
a reserved half-plane or something; 64K chars is a lot). Especially
since we never know when a vendor is going to decide he needs a LEFT


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