Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode (from Re: square bullets added to unicode.)

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2011 - 12:43:07 CST

  • Next message: David Starner: "Re: On the possibility of encoding webdings in Unicode (from Re: square bullets added to unicode.)"

    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
    > explanation.)

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