From: Asmus Freytag (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jan 27 2011 - 12:43:07 CST
I think many symbols can be used in more than one way, and you can't
decide by its appearance alone in which way its being used.
Whether the image of a musical note is used generically to indicate
"melody", "music", "these words are sung" or whatever, or whether its
intended as an actual note, is discernible only from context.
A filled-outline image of a whale and an elephant might represent these
species, but could also be a visual shorthand for water-based and
land-based mammals (for example on page headers for a book on animals).
It all depends on the conventions established by the context where the
symbol is used.
Even a formal notation element such as an integral sign, could be used
to represent "calculus" symbolically, just as "A" often stands for
"text", "letter" or even "font".
On 1/27/2011 12:57 AM, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> William_J_G Overington wrote:
>> Could you possibly enlarge on your statement "-dingbats are a
>> different dimension." please?
> A dingbat character encodes a particular graphic shape as such, though
> allowing some design variation as long as the shape remains “the
> same.” Fonts that contain dingbats generally follow this idea.
> In contrast, emoji characters effectively encode graphic ideas—rather
> specific ideas, like “birthday cake”, which might be rendered as
> anything commonly recognizable as a birthday cake (though the use as a
> character implies that the design must be rather simple, icon-like).
> For example, the number of candles might vary.
> Check out the Unicode FAQ on the difference:
> (I’m not implying that my description corresponds to that official
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