From: Jukka K. Korpela (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Oct 14 2007 - 01:44:08 CDT
Philippe Verdy wrote:
> I don't know why you think that emoticons and dingbats are identical.
> They differ greatly in their usage, notably a dingbat doesnot express
> the intention or feeling or emotion of the writer.
Any symbol can express intentions, feelings, or emotions, and any symbol may
appear without expressing anything like that.
> Emoticons [are a] form of ideographic script
I think you are trying to say that they are iconic, i.e. their shape
resembles the thing that they are supposed to represent. For example, an
emoticon - whether the SMILING FACE character or the two-character symbol
:-) - is supposed to be an image of a smiling face (and thereby indirectly
represent whatever a smiling face stands for, which is actually very
ambiguous). Actually, the "-icon" part of the name "emoticon" describes this
well, but the "emot-" part is more vague.
Anyway, icons can be encoded as characters if they are used in texts. Most
Dingbats are images that have been included into some fonts without making
them characters, though some of them have later been encoded as characters.
In principle, the crucial question here, too, is whether they are used in
text (actually used in human communication, as opposite to mere ideas and
> more than smileys that are the most reduced forms of emoticons
> restricted to plain-text using some form of "ASCII Art").
I think the real history is the reverse. Emoticons were invented as "ASCII
Art", later turned (to some extent) into small images, included into fonts,
and even encoded as characters. The "ASCII Art" emoticons differ from their
image or character counterparts by implying a different angle, in a very
literal sense: you are supposed to tilt your head 45 degrees to the left or
imagine you did that, whereas the images or glyphs stand upright.
"ASCII Art" has become a misnomer, since here (as so often nowadays) "ASCII"
really means "plain text", without implying any particular encoding or
character repertoire. It would better be called "Plain Text Art" (or with
some more neutral word in place of "Art").
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
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