Re: Emoticons

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed May 22 2002 - 11:17:00 EDT

Shlomi Tal <shlompi at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> And since emoticons are very useful, and are not compatibility
> hacks, then why not add a few more to the Misc Symbols set? White
> winking face, for example? I already use the white smiling face on
> discussion boards, as an HTML NCR, and it's smashing. Wouldn't a
> few more be useful?

Codifying emoticons is a problem for the same reason (notionally) as
spelling "banana" -- getting started is easy; the tricky part is knowing
when to stop.

The smiling face and frowning face have fairly obvious value as
emoticons. I use U+263A (in its UCN form, "\u263a) sometimes when
posting to this list. A winking face and a "surprised" or "shocked"
face could arguably be useful as well. But once you get past those
four, there's not much left except glyph variants ( :-) with nose and :)
without nose are equivalent) and idiotic things invented by kids with
way too much time on their hands. The example I gave on 2002-02-15
( was
"man with glasses and a mohawk sticking his tongue out and drooling,"
but I'm sure you can think of many others.

Some people believe that encoding certain entities (Klingon comes to
mind) would bring great embarrassment to Unicode and cause people not to
respect it or take it seriously. That's how I feel about encoding
additional smileys.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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