Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: David Starner (
Date: Sun Jan 11 2009 - 13:07:26 CST

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    On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 1:03 PM, Leo Broukhis <> wrote:
    > Then each *alleged* symbol should be considered separately, with a
    > separate corpus of evidence of its symbolic use.

    What a wasteful and unprecedented procedure. They're a set of symbols
    and should be considered as such. There's plenty of opportunity as it
    stands to object to specific characters or groups of characters, but
    no need to fight over every character.

    > Take an abecedary, where the words containing letters not yet learned
    > or too complex to read are shown as pictures within text. These
    > pictures are used as text in a particular environment and likely even
    > constitute a well-defined set not unlike emoji (animals, fruits and
    > vegetables, toys, buildings, professions...).

    I would say that that's their main problem; they don't constitute a
    well-defined set, that in fact if you brought to together a large
    collection of these books and made a collection of any symbol that
    appeared in three of them, you would find that set covered few if any

    > Nevertheless, it does
    > not make the set of "abecedary symbols" eligible for encoding, because
    > there is no attested *symbolic* use.

    I fail to understand how a picture of a dog used systematically to
    replace the word "dog" has any more or less symbolic value than the
    word, particularly when the same picture is used for several types of

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