Completing Emoji Sets: Animals and Zodiac Signs
christoph.paeper at crissov.de
Thu Aug 18 05:19:04 CDT 2016
Not least the TERIS proposal has taught me that, at least for emojis, Unicode’s encoding policy has changed from “show use, get character” to “show system with gap, get character”. Well, then, I’ve noticed several incomplete sets or systems in the emoji ranges. This is the first of a planned series of messages describing such sets.
For Japanese telcos, one original purpose of animal emojis seems to have been **Eastern zodiac signs**, as documented in the annotations of U+1F400–18. Without consulting other sources, we get these (perhaps inaccurate) sets:
* Persian 1:
* Persian 2:
The original animal faces closely match these, if we assume that some were unified and others have no facial variant.
* = /
* = / /
* = /
* = /
* ? = /
* ? = / /
* China: ≈ Persian 1
* Persian: = Persian 2
Chicken is often rendered as a hen’s head, but not explicitly so. The front-facing chick could be substituted. The Boar is also often just a head, but maybe that’s what the snout is for? Elephant, alligator, snail, snake, sheep / ram / goat have no portrait equivalent. I wonder if they should be added.
The **Western signs of the zodiac** have long been supported by Unicode as abstract symbols U+2648–58(/CE), which gained colorful (now default) variants with the initial emoji release. Most of them also represent animals or certain kinds of humans. Some emoji characters are straightforward, others have been added specifically for this purpose (L2/14-284: Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius), but at least for Virgo (?) and Gemini (?) I’m not sure which character would be the canonic one. The Goat isn’t really a sea-goat either, and the Ram no ibex. There should at least be annotation, if not new dedicated code-points.
* ♈️ ♉️ ♊️ ♋️ ♌️ ♍️ ♎️ ♏️ ♐️ ♑️ ♒️ ♓️
As seen above, there’s already a Monkey and a Monkey Face, also the **Three Wise Monkeys** who see , hear and speak no evil (U+1F648–A). They are often depicted with a fourth friend, though, who is most often associated with either Think-No-Evil or Do-No-Evil, who usually has its hands folded, arms crossed, hands in lap, hands covering genitals or a combination thereof. One could get by with perhaps, but a dedicated monkey would be swell. (Btw., I’ve also found an example of Smell-No-Evil.)
There are different conventional **food taboos** or dietary restrictions among human cultures and cults, especially regarding meat, and sometimes they’re just temporary (fasts). Emojis should be available to state either that a meal contains a certain “ingredient” or does/should not (using for instance). Although there’s no generic emoji for predators, rodents, insects or seafood, the only ones missing I could think of now that dairy and eggs have been added, are Jellyfish, Nest and body parts (entrails, genitals, brain). Food and other allergies are a separate matter by the way, because there are hardly any allergies to certain kinds of meat (except when counting crustaceans), but most major allergens already have sufficient emoji representatives. More complex or combined religious rules can also be handled by the respective symbols, e.g. ✡️ for ‘kosher’ and ☪️ for ‘halal’.
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