Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: James Kass (
Date: Sat Dec 27 2008 - 14:51:24 CST

David Starner wrote,

>On Sat, Dec 27, 2008 at 11:15 AM, Joó Ádám <> wrote:
>>> If users persist to treat as characters something that you think should not be a character
>> Users do not treat it that way; vendors treat it that way. A huge
>> difference here.
>That's questionable; these are not hidden, invisible or complex
>characters. Users are picking things from a fixed selection (like a
>character selector) that act inline as any other character.

An informal survey of "top ten" Google results for two
different search strings shows only one page explicitly
calling these things "characters", a web page from Apple.

("One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl!")

Google search for: emoticon how to

#1 (ascii), but considers "smiley" to be its own trademark...

#2 (pictures)
"Emoticons are emotional graphics--visual ways to express
the way you feel when words alone just aren't enough.
Try out all of the Messenger emoticons: "

#3 (doesn't apply, it's some kind of search with multiple results)

#4 (wikipedia, interesting article)
"In web forums, instant messengers and online games, text
emoticons are often automatically replaced with small
corresponding images, which came to be called "Emoticons." "
(Text can be replaced with pictures.)

#5 (symbols -- images not for plain text)
"Tip Want even more emoticon graphics? Go to Clip Art and
Media on Microsoft Office Online."
"Note In Outlook, use the Insert menu in the message window.
This requires that you be using Word as your e-mail editor
and that your message format be either RTF or HTML.
You cannot use symbols with the Plain Text message format."

#6 (glyphs -- mungs ASCII strings into pictures)
"Smileys, also known as "emoticons," are glyphs used to
convey emotions in your writing. They are a great way
to brighten up posts. <picture of "smiley" character>"
"By default, WordPress automatically converts text smileys
to graphic images."

#7 (Dave Barry's take, a must-read)

#8 (replaces some ASCII with pictures)

#9 (unclear why this is in the top ten results)
(It does offer "+7000 free MSN emoticons")

#10 (not germaine)
(This is about how to get the emoticon tool-bar.)


Google search for: emoji how to

#1 (unknown)
(Internet explorer "dies" or goes into some kind of bizarre loop
when attempting to open this web page.)

#2 (icons)
"Emoji is the Japanese name for “emoticons” used by Japanese
wireless carriers."

#3 (icons)
"Without the Emoji (emoticons), Apple’s iPhone would have
not even been considered..."

#4 (icons)
"Emoji is the japanese name for pictorial characters, smileys
and emoticons."
"Have fun with the emoji icons! I bet your colleagues and
friends will be impressed and wonder how you did it."
(Your colleagues might be unfavorably impressed and
wonder *why* you did it.)

#5 (web page does not define as icon/character/symbol/etc.)
(The web site appears to be down. Google's cached version
generates Internet Explorer error message.)
"How to get Emoji (japanese emoticons) on any
iPhone with firmware 2.2"

#6 (icons which are actually picture characters)
"You may not heard of Emoji icons (me too!) until
the release of iPhone firmware 2.2. Emoji icons are
actually picture characters that are very popular in
Japan for text messaging."
(Useful icons offered on this page include a burning
cigarette, a pistol, a football, a basketball, a soccer ball,
a baseball, a tennis ball, a golf ball, and an eight ball.
Should we all get behind the eight ball?)

#7 (character)

#8 (icons)
"Now when you write email or SMS you have an extra
button on your keyboard that will open the Emoji
Section and give access to literally hundreds of
awesome icons."

#9 (icons)

#10 (icons / pictures)
"Also included is support for Japanese emoji icons:
461 popular pictures that can be added to text
messages and emails. "

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