About standardized variants of characters in Dingbat block

Christoph Päper christoph.paeper at crissov.de
Wed Dec 28 06:57:47 CST 2016

Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com>:
> On 27 Dec 2016, at 20:05, Mark Davis ☕️ <mark at macchiato.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 7:15 PM, Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper at crissov.de> wrote:
>>> ✊✋✌️����?
>> ​I'd use:​

I guess I’d prefer �� in combination with ⛰��✂️�� – or �� U+1F9DD Elf perhaps. OK Sign may be an acceptable substitute, pending future additions: ✊✋✌️����, because it differs enough from the other gestures.


> Yes, but most people expect hand-gestures (which is why three were in the Japanese telco set) so we’re missing the lizard-hand.

The question – like always with new emojis – is where to start and stop. Using just the info from the (improvable) English Wikipedia article, you’d need at least these for common variants and extensions:

 * Malaysia/Singapore: rock-water-bird = ⛰���� = ✊✋❌ ≈ ✊✋��
 * France/Germany: rock-paper-scissors-well-bull = ⛰��✂️❌�� = ✊✋✌️❌❌ ≈ ✊✋✌️����
 * China/Japan (mushi-ken): slug-frog-snake = ������/������ = ❌��☝️/❌���� = pinkie-thumb-index

Lizard, Bird and Well differ substantially from each other, but can all be approximated by the same emoji ��, because they aren’t used together in a game, i.e. they don’t form minimal pairs in practice. The Bull also looks slightly different from the Devil and Fox signs (used elsewhere), but can be represented well enough by the �� emoji for the same reasons.

The only gesture that cannot be approximated by existing emojis is the raised pinkie finger for a slug or caterpillar.

There are, of course, many other gestures that could be (and probably somewhere are being) used to play hand games, see <http://www.umop.com/rps.htm> for instance. Any of them (and others) may also acquire meaning outside games to visually augment or substitute acoustic forms of communication. In some, mostly informal kinds of computer-mediated textual communication (i.e. messaging, texting, chatting, tweeting, advertising …), users employ traditional characters (“letters”, “words”) for transcribing the oral-aural part, but emojis of manual gestures and facial expressions to transmit their otherwise lost “body language”, as well as pictorial objects and symbols for deixis, abbreviation, tagging and feelings. Roughly speaking. 

I believe there should be separate hand emojis for all conventionalized paralinguistic gestures that are or were being used with spoken language and could be used with written language as well. Similar looking (e.g. turned/flipped/rotated/reversed) ones and chiral variants may be unified *unless* they are likely to appear in the same context with different meaning, cf. vertical �� Call Me vs. horizontal Shaka/Hang Loose or vertical L/Loser vs. horizontal Finger Gun.

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