Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Werner LEMBERG (
Date: Mon Dec 29 2008 - 07:38:08 CST

> > Sorry, I cannot follow the logic. If some software turns 8) into a
> > small image, then this is either an error or intentional
> > behavior. In this case, it is probably intentional, and the
> > question arises whether and how the feature can be switched off by
> > users; but this a practical software issue (which would equally
> > exist if the characters were turned into an emoticon character).
> The problem stems from the fact that in this kind of scenario 8) is
> no longer unique in the encoding sense. In order to determine
> whether text containing 8) intends to encode the digit eight
> followed by the close paren or in fact intends to encode an emoticon
> you now need out of band information. Requiring out of band
> information for text content is certainly not ideal. Therefore, if
> there were dedicated character codes for emoticons (especially those
> using short, and therefore commonly occurring strings of punctuation
> marks as fallbacks) the ability to used them as a unique way to
> encode common emoticons would be a definite benefit.

Hmm. Isn't this the same issue as having a word like `shelfful' where
there shouldn't be an `ff' ligature? The recommended practice, AFAIK,
is to insert one of those cute zero-width Unicode markers to prevent
it... I don't see an immediate need for a character code just to
resolve this particular issue.


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