Re: [unicode] Re: (TC304.2313) AND/OR: antediluvian views

From: Alain LaBonté  (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 16:06:01 EDT

À 11:40 2000-06-13 -0600, a écrit:
>Pictograms are problematic because they are often culturally based. Some
>pictograms we have learned, but the original idea behind the pictograms in
>automobiles, VCRs, etc. was that a manufacturer could save money by not
>labeling with a language but instead use a picture that is 'supposed' to
>have universal meaning across all locales. It doesn't work. You can
>usually figure out the meaning of some or even most of the symbols used,
>but not all.

[Alain] You can probably say this for the USA and perhaps a fraction of
the USA only.

    It works quite well in reality... with just a bit of good will (you
have to have the will to learn, that is the first condition). Probably
those who have not been able to learn pictograms on their VCRs don't know
how to program it, and even in some cases, how to use it either. I'm not
sure text would have helped more. You need to be interested in VCRs, in
this case (and it is not illegitimate not to be interested, of course).

    I recently bought a camera in Japan (Nikon Coolpix 990, a marvel), and
would'nt it be of those pictograms, they could not have found a better way
to indicate the so many functions they provide me in full text in such a
small monochrome liquid crystal display area on top of the camera.

    The *installation* menu is provided with a few words (titles only,
which you have to call in superimposition of the picture-destined second
color LCD on the back of the camera) in 4 languages (Deutsch, English,
français, Japanese, in alphabetic [Latin!] order of language, Japanese
using the Japanese script) but the complex functions use but pictograms,
which -- if you're really interested in fully using your camera, you will
learn in refering to the manual (106 pages in French, as many pages in the
web-abvailable language version of your choice -- on paper I just got the
Japanese manual [on the Japanese web site they offer -- in English and
Japanese (normal for Japan) -- a replacement in the language of your choice
if you return the original manual, which I did, asking for a French one --
but in the meanwhile I downloaded the excellent French manual on the web).
Don't worry, there is an all-automatic mode, the default one.

    But the flash option -- which most will like to use, show... a flash
pictogram (electric storm flash shape won't change overnight in nature, I
guess)... and the red-eye-reduction flash option shows... an eye (I guess
for the duration of my camera, eyes will still be recognizable in nature --
at least I hope so (%= )...

Alain LaBonté

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