Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: James Kass (
Date: Mon Jan 12 2009 - 17:24:45 CST

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy"

    John Knightley replied to John H. Jenkins,

    >> 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.
    >Change the name to something other than flags does not change the the
    >fact that if these 10 are encoded, it then only requires is to show
    >other flags are being used as plain text, or to cause them to be used
    >as plain text, something well within the resources of many countries.


    Some years back there was an effort to move data from a
    non-standard character set to Unicode. Many of the characters
    in that set were already part of Unicode, but several were not.
    The PUA was used for those which were not.

    Since that time, the letters lacking in Unicode have been added,
    leaving behind a few items like 62526 () and 62527 () which
    are still in the PUA.

    Those PUA letters were used to support minority languages
    and have since been added to Unicode as Ethiopic extended
    characters. As far as I know, nobody ever proposed the
    silhouette/outline figures. If they had been proposed, they
    would have been rejected.

    Yet there exists a de-facto standard for these silhouettes to
    be exchanged as plain-text. They can be used with semantic
    meaning in plain text, either as embellishment to text
    (Viva Africa! ) or in lieu of text ( I ♥  ). The ability to
    display them properly, as with any PUA characters, depends
    on the user calling an appropriate font.

    The proposed MAP OF JAPAN character (which is not a map)
    is as inappropriate for standard plain-text encoding as
    FLAG OF JAPAN. Users will wonder why the character
    representing the silhouette of *their* region isn't included,
    just like they will with the flags.

    If you need to express your locale as text -- use words.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

    P.S. - 62524 () and 62525 () also exist.

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