Emoji Madness 😜

On one hand, I like Emoji characters, and I’ve used them a bit.😀 The ability to enter emotional expressions into your writing may✏ seem great, but from a technology standpoint, Emoji characters bother me.😠

Writing is expressive, and the tools of language allow us to be precise with our meaning. Art, on the other hand, is supposed to be artistic. The problem is that the symbols of Emoji are limited. While Eskimos have 50 words for snow, our hieroglyphic friend is more constrained ❄.

From a 💻 technology standpoint, Emoji are a clever hack. This hack has now become an international 🌎 standard that will perpetually need to be updated to deal the limits of self-expression inherent in its limited design. The world is filled with millions of nouns, but only some nouns are ☎️ represented. Others are represented poorly, 🚄 while others don’t exist at all.

Unicode should be defining a way to embed an arbitrary in-line graphic. Unofruntunavly this isn’t possible. Instead, we’ve identified hundreds of semi-arbitrary nouns.

Since each platform can design its interpretation of these symbols, my choice of 🍕 symbols could end up looking like any of these on your display:

What’s 😓 is that the designers of Unicode are adding to the complexity of this problem. The latest version of Unicode support for Emoji characters allows skin-tone variations on symbols that represent people. Diversity is important, but what’s 😃ironic about this is that the entire point of using abstracted icons that are bright yellow is to avoid personification. 😱

When people send messages between different devices and services the symbol shouldn’t change to something else on the receiving end.

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