Re: Emoji: Public Review December 2008: e-1DE CHINESE ZODIAC DRAGON

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Wed Mar 11 2009 - 13:58:07 CST

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    On Mar 11, 2009, at 12:41 PM, Leo Broukhis wrote:

    > On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM, John H. Jenkins
    > <> wrote:
    >> People who want to use them for that can find them without our
    >> pointing it
    >> out. ("im a <U+1F392> wat r u?"/"im a <U+1F377>", or "im a gem wat r
    >> u?"/"<U+1F384>")
    > Except those 4 signs for which the proposed names differ from the
    > traditional names.

    I've been doing some poking around and I think I may be disagreeing
    with myself. Slightly.

    The name for U+1F392 is arguably wrong, since the intention is not to
    be a dragon in general or even a Far Eastern dragon. All three
    telecoms call it 辰, and if I understand my sources correctly that's
    unambiguously the dragon used in astrology. The kanji for the Far
    Eastern dragon is 竜. (Although, for the record, the Japanese
    wikipedia listing the twelve animals uses the older form, 龍, and
    neither 辰 nor 竜.)

    As for the other eleven, the names used by the telecoms are a mixture
    of kanji, hiragana, and katakana, and they don't always match what a
    Japanese astrologer would actually use (again, if I understand my
    sources correctly). This weakens the case for annotating them as
    having astrologic use.

    People will use MOUSE for a (astrological) rat without qualm, I'm
    sure, particularly in East Asia where the two are not generally
    distinguished. But, just the other day I saw someone use ß for B, and
    last night I saw someone use ╒ for F. IIRC the publicity material
    for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" spelled "Greek" using Σ for E, and
    countless are the times that I've seen material making fun of Russia
    which used Я for R.

    Michael is quite right—once these things escape into the wild, they
    will be used however people want to use them, regardless of what
    they're called or what they're actually intended to be. And I'm sure
    that someone will create a table with all twelve/fourteen listed, and
    I'm sure that it's no coincidence that the twelve used in Japan are
    all present.

    But there's no need for us to explicitly call them out by renaming
    them or annotating them because serious astrology in the Far East
    doesn't use them, even in Japan. Yes, people will use them for the
    astrological animals, but we don't base character names and
    annotations on what end users will actually end up doing with

    <☺>And personally, I'm much more upset that there's neither a DUCK
    nor a PLATYPUS. I mean, really. They have a CHICKEN and a KOALA but
    no DUCK and no PLATYPUS? Sheesh. </☺>

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