Difference between Klingon and Tengwar

Mark E. Shoulson mark at kli.org
Wed Sep 15 13:39:20 CDT 2021

On 9/15/21 1:29 AM, Asmus Freytag via Unicode wrote:
> On 9/14/2021 10:04 PM, Doug Ewell via Unicode wrote:
>> First, congratulations on the release of Unicode 14.0, the first new release since the pandemic in the Western Hemisphere began, if we can even imagine that.
>> Asmus Freytag wrote:
>>> Strong evidence of widespread use and strong evidence that can support
>>> the supposition that this use will not be a flash in the pan, but
>>> continue for decades.
>> I don't believe UTC could approve a more frivolous and flash-in-the-pan character if it tried.
Yeah, that is a pretty bad one.  At least "PERSON TAKING ICE-BUCKET 
CHALLENGE" was never approved (or proposed), for another 
flash-in-the-pan craze.
> I don't have an opinion on individual characters, but the death of 
> emoji has been prognosticated many times. I personally don't think we 
> are at or even past "peak emoji" quite yet (in terms of overall usage, 
> that is). However, it would be interesting to see whether anyone has 
> bothered to collect data.
Emoji come up a lot in these discussions, because they represent a break 
from the original goal of Unicode to encode things that are in use, not 
things that might be used.  And okay, that is a big break, but to be 
fair, emoji are kind of a special case, and it isn't right to try to 
infer from emoji to other situations.  In some sense, "emoji" as a whole 
have vast demonstrated usage, and encoding a new character among them is 
not the same as encoding a script or writing system that has yet to show 
usage.  It's more like encoding a brand-new character in the IPA that 
hasn't seen use yet, but we know people use the IPA and so this letter 
will be used.  (I know, the parallel isn't perfect: an IPA character 
would have been approved by the IPA, etc.  Try to see the forest for the 

So, yeah, emoji are weird, but I don't think they can be generalized.


> I recall seeing some list of usage frequencies on a relative scale, 
> but nothing about total emoji volume whether absolute or in some 
> percentages relative to other text in certain environments.
> The per-character frequencies of any pictographic writing system 
> always have a long tail. That's why looking at any one member of such 
> a system always allows you to find examples that are "never used". 
> That doesn't tell you anything about the writing system itself, and if 
> you accept the need to support one, then you'll inevitably pick up 
> some of the tail; that's as it should be.
> A./

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