Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2009 - 16:31:30 CST

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    Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

    >> 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 strong feeling I am getting from this, from everyone in the
    pro-emoji camp, uniformly, is that it makes no difference whatsoever
    what kind of things are being interchanged publicly as plain text. If
    they are being interchanged publicly as plain text, that is sufficient.

    So we could see sounds, video clips, program instructions, data,
    anything, and as long as they are being interchanged publicly as plain
    text, there will be a strong motivation to encode them in the UCS, and
    arguments against encoding them will be deemed inappropriate.

    And before anyone replies that this is silly, this is preposterous, this
    is reductio ad absurdum -- YOU tell me what the difference is. Because
    the only argument I have heard in favor of encoding things with zero
    symbolic value like FISH CAKE WITH SWIRL DESIGN is that they are being
    interchanged in plain text, and that's all that matters.

    Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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