RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2009 - 13:04:25 CST

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy"

    From: [] On Behalf Of James Kass

    > Since establishing that emoji are (or are in the process of
    > becoming) a new style of pictographic writing would tend to lend
    > credibility to a proposal, we might presume that this is not the
    > case. Otherwise, emoji proponents would raise the issue and
    > provide supporting evidence, wouldn't they?

    Not necessarily: they may consider that question of secondary importance to the de-facto reality that these are graphic entities that are being publicly exchanged in text protocols.

    > Instead, we are all asked to consider pragmatic interoperability
    > requirements.


    > Opponents reply that, even granting such
    > requirements, the solution is beyond the realm of plain-text.

    And the response to that is, the solution to the general, long-term problem of representing arbitrary graphic entities is indeed beyond the realm of plain text, but that doesn't change the fact that *this set* of graphic entities *is* being interchanged publicly as plain text, and the goal of universality and the needs of users of the Unicode standard both lead to the conclusion that, while they aren't the best examples of plain text, *this set* of graphic entities should be encoded in the UCS.

    > The proponents reply that it doesn't matter where your principles
    > stand, these icons must be encoded in the plain-text standard because
    > vendors in Japan are exchanging them via PUA characters hacking
    > plain-text protocols. The opponents say that the very fact that
    > it's a hack lends credence to the idea that these icons are not textual
    > in nature.

    The opponents start with the premise that these are not textual in nature; that leads them to the conclusion that interchange via PUA characters is a hack. Now you're suggesting that being a hack argues that they are not textual in nature. Your argument is circular, hence invalid.

    > Is that as dumb as it sounds? It's my understanding that Google
    > already handles some emoji using PUA characters. If Google has
    > code and charts, perhaps Google could undertake an ad-hoc PUA
    > registry along the lines of ConScript Unicode Registry, using
    > one of the higher PUA planes.

    *That* is dumb, IMO.

    > "Hacking" plain-text
    > protocols would continue, but nobody cares what you do in the PUA.

    If nobody cared, then there'd be no point in a registry as nobody would pay attention to it. Since you suggest a registry, evidently you think people *would* care and pay attention; and since you're suggesting that this should be done by the likes of Google, whose usage will inevitably impact a very large portion of the ICT industry and a large number of users, "private use" is hardly applicable.

    We've gone over that before; I won't bother responding the next time.

    > Unicode could place a note into the Standard explaining that such
    > and such PUA plane is generally regarded as a corporate private
    > use graphic symbol registry and be done with it.

    No, they could not: that would effectively turn *that* portion of the code space into a set of characters controlled by some *other* industry body, and no longer a private-use area. Not even a remote possibility.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jan 10 2009 - 13:05:53 CST