Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Mon Jan 12 2009 - 11:32:23 CST

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    On Jan 10, 2009, at 3:47 AM, Dominikus Scherkl wrote:

    > And I think they should be banned from encoding like any other logo.
    > Because they are logos, property of some legal entities (in this
    > case countries, but that makes it not better, or worse, as
    > countries may punish misuse of these logos - like it's forbidden
    > to burn the US flag).

    There are nominally requirements regarding the use of the US flag
    which are widely ignored. The use of a flag to mark a localization is
    not uncommon. Apple uses them, for example, in the keyboard menu on
    Mac OS X. At one point, we were going to move away from the use of
    flags, but we were never able to come up with a decently viable

    The key difference between flags and corporate logos lies there.
    Corporations do have very specific guidelines as to when their logos
    can be used and do resort to legal means to enforce those guidelines.
    Countries (et al.) are generally not so stringent.

    Having said that, I agree that including some flags as flags is going
    to create problems in the future. People with only a passing
    acquaintance with Unicode will raise the question of why only these
    ten and not the others, and Unicode will very likely have to deal with
    proposals to add other flags. And there are the political
    ramifications. It would be prudent IMHO to change the names.

    (Apropos of nothing, I should point out that Unicode has symbols for
    some religions but not all. While IIRC we *have* received complaints
    from people that the symbol for their religion hasn't been drawn
    correctly, we have yet to entertain a proposal to extend the set.)

    John H. Jenkins

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