Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Thu Jan 08 2009 - 12:29:35 CST

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    If you look at the provisional representative glyphs in the charts at, you find
    that none of them are distinguished by color.


    On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 09:19, Jukka K. Korpela <> wrote:

    > Kenneth Whistler wrote:
    > The short answer is that *everyone* benefits from having
    >> a standard that promotes interoperability of text interchange
    >> globally without data corruption.
    > Regarding the addition of characters to Unicode, which is what this is all
    > about, "everyone" is actually limited to everyone who uses or intends to use
    > such characters or processes data containing them.
    > As such, the interoperability argument is a strong one. Yet, is this about
    > _text_ interchange, and specially plain text? Emoji symbols look like
    > images, even though their origin is in Ascii strings like ":-)". Do they
    > constitute an emerging writing system? Maybe. But it looks more like an
    > attempt to create a set of images, to be referred to by their identifiers.
    > Then it's a natural (but dangerous) idea to treat those identifiers or
    > indexers or whatever you call them as comparable to character names or
    > numbers. Just like we encode characters in Unicode, arbitrary graphic
    > symbols _could_ be encoded, as a closed set or in an open-ended manner.
    > If you require no "characterhood" like systematic glyph variation by font
    > design, usage as text characters in different media, and reasonably
    > well-understood meaning (either as symbols of their own or as constituents
    > of strings, "words"), then you are really opening a highway for all the
    > world's symbols, past, present, and future, to enter the gates of Unicode
    > and require admission. Well, maybe they'll need at least a small army: a
    > company that claims that they have actually started using them in "text
    > data" interchange.
    > I think this whole argument has been so clouded by emoji-hating
    >> and by FUD about color and animation and other concerns
    >> focussed on *glyphs* rather than text interchange, that
    >> it is unlikely that a reasoned assessment of benefits
    >> will seem convincing to those who don't want to hear it.
    > Color and animation are essential issues, and I find it odd that it has not
    > been commented by those that favor the introduction of emoji as characters.
    > You could create a system where normal letters are displayed as
    > multicolored and dancing, and nobody would object from the character code
    > point of view. Such rendering features are coincidential, optional (and
    > fairly rare) for any normal character. For emoji, current and future, being
    > inherently graphic and iconic, it would be odd to exclude the possibility of
    > making distinction between symbols solely on the basis of their colors or
    > motion.
    > --
    > Yucca, <>

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