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.
>> U+1FAF6 HEART HANDS
>> 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
> 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.
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