From: Andrew West (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Mar 03 2011 - 19:13:38 CST
On 3 March 2011 23:31, Asmus Freytag <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> lohmati netizen hasn't been back, and we don't know why.
> I would have asked him: "Do you consider this a symbol? Why? Have you seen
> it used in writing text? Where?"
> Perhaps we could have found out a bit more.
From the perspective of someone who is not familiar with the character
encoding process, the argument probably goes something like this:
1. Unicode encodes emoticons.
"The universe of symbols is rich and open-ended. The collection of
encoded symbols in the Unicode Standard encompasses the following: ...
"open-ended" ... sounds to me like it is an unfinished set that we are
being invited to help add to.
TUS clearly states that "the five cultural symbols encoded in the
range U+1F5FB..U+1F5FF ... are encoded for compatibility with the core
emoji sets used by Japanese cell phone carriers, and are not intended
to set a precedent for encoding additional sets of cultural landmarks
or other pictographic cultural symbols as characters" (p.503).
However, there is nothing in the text about emoticons on page 503 to
suggest that emoticons are also only encoded for compatibility, and
that no more may be added in the future, so evidently there is no
similar restriction on the encoding of more emoticons.
2. The facepalm symbol is an emoticon.
People use this emoticon in semantically meaningful ways to transmit
messages across the internet:
3. Therefore Unicode should encode the facepalm emoticon.
I expect that they overlooked it, but if I tell them about this widely
used and ever so important emoticon they will jump at the opportunity
to improve the emoticon coverage of Unicode.
As someone who is familiar with the character encoding process I could
perhaps find some holes in this line of argument; but it seems to me
that Unicode is intended to facilitate written communication, and if
some people feel the need to communicate in emoticons rather than with
"proper" letters or ideographs, then who are we to snootily turn them
away? Are the needs of millions of internet message board users
somehow less important than the needs of a handful of academics
studying some obscure, extinct, and barely deciphered script that has
not been used for communication for hundreds of years?
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