Why so much emoji nonsense?

Shawn Steele via Unicode unicode at unicode.org
Thu Feb 15 15:38:19 CST 2018

For voice we certainly get clues about the speaker's intent from their tone.  That tone can change the meaning of the same written word quite a bit.  There is no need for video to wildly change the meaning of two different readings of the exact same words.

Writers have always taken liberties with the written word to convey ideas that aren't purely grammatically correct.  This may be most obvious in poetry, but it happens even in other writings.  Maybe their entire reason was so that future English teachers would ask us why some author chose some peculiar structure or whatever.

I find it odd that I write things like "I'd've thought" (AFAIK I hadn't been exposed to I'd've and it just spontaneously occurred, but apparently others (mis)use it as well).  I realize "I'd've" isn't "right", but it better conveys my current state of mind than spelling it out would've.  Similarly, if I find myself smiling internally while I'm writing, it's going to get a :)

Though I may use :), I agree that most of my use of emoji is more decorative, however including other emoji can also make the sentence feel more "fun".  

If I receive a �� as the only response to a comment I made, that conveys information that I would have a difficult time putting into words.

I don't find emoji to necessarily be a "post-literate" thing.  Just a different way of communicating.  I have also seen them used in a "pre-literate" fashion.  Helping people that were struggling to learn to read get past the initial difficulties they were having on their way to becoming more literate.


-----Original Message-----
From: Unicode <unicode-bounces at unicode.org> On Behalf Of James Kass via Unicode
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:53 PM
To: Ken Whistler <kenwhistler at att.net>
Cc: Erik Pedersen <erik.pedersen at shaw.ca>; Unicode Public <unicode at unicode.org>
Subject: Re: Why so much emoji nonsense?

Ken Whistler replied to Erik Pedersen,

> Emoticons were invented, in large part, to fill another major hole in 
> written communication -- the need to convey emotional state and 
> affective attitudes towards the text.

There is no such need.  If one can't string words together which 'speak for themselves', there are other media.  I suspect that emoticons were invented for much the same reason that "typewriter art"
was invented:  because it's there, it's cute, it's clever, and it's novel.

> This is the kind of information that face-to-face communication has a 
> huge and evolutionarily deep bandwidth for, but which written 
> communication typically fails miserably at.

Does Braille include emoji?  Are there tonal emoticons available for telephone or voice transmission?  Does the telephone "fail miserably"
at oral communication because there's no video to transmit facial tics and hand gestures?  Did Pontius Pilate have a cousin named Otto?
These are rhetorical questions.

For me, the emoji are a symptom of our moving into a post-literate age.  We already have people in positions of power who pride themselves on their marginal literacy and boast about the fact that they don't read much.  Sad!

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