Emoji characters for food allergens

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Mon Aug 3 09:18:45 CDT 2015

On 28 Jul 2015, at 15:00, Michael Everson  wrote [I placed the quotation first]:

> On 26 Jul 2015, at 06:05, Garth Wallace  wrote:
>> On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 9:43 AM, William_J_G Overington
>>  wrote:
>>> Emoji characters for food allergens
>>> An interesting document entitled
>>> Preliminary proposal to add emoji characters for food allergens
>>> by Hiroyuki Komatsu
>>> was added into the UTC (Unicode Technical Committee) Document Register
>>> yesterday.
>>> http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2015/15197-emoji-food-allergens.pdf
>>> This is a welcome development.
>> I'm skeptical. I understand the rationale, but several of the proposed
>> characters are essentially SMALL PILE OF BROWN DOTS and would be
>> difficult to distinguish at typical sizes.

[Iʼve already answered on this point.]

> I do NOT understand the rationale.
> Emojis are not for labelling things. They’re for the playful expression of emotions.
> Standardized symbols for allergens might be useful, if there were a textual use for them.

On 28 Jul 2015, at 20:26, Garth Wallace  replied:

> Well, there are several emoji for various items encountered in daily
> life, and I think the reasoning is that allergens are important things
> to refer to because of their health effects. It's a bit of a leap to
> say that means there's a need for dedicated pictograms though.
> I agree, it does seem to be putting the cart before the horse.

I believe the issue should be replaced into its original context. All over the world, pictographs allow to convey some vital information to tourists, but more specially in CJK countries they avoid also encumbering packages with lots of Latin, Cyrillic, and possibly Greek and other scripts. Well, personally I would suggest to cite the allergens with their Latin scientific name (as TRITICUM for wheat and by extension, gluten), but I would suggest now to remember that prior to depreciate the proposal, we should ask ourselves and the concerned countries if such a Latin labelling is acceptable. The fact that Mr Komatsu took the pain of working out this proposal, tends to prove it is *not*.

Best regards,

Marcel Schneider

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