Emoji is once again not so good for Unicode...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2014/10/06 13:11 +00:00, original URI: http://www.siao2.com/2014/10/06/8770668856267196238.aspx

Sorry for the long pause between posts, but being on disability turns out to not be such a vacation!

This last week was the latest WG2 meeting, which caused quite a stir both there and on the Unicore list due to the apparently racial (racist?) bias of facial Emoji in Unicode.

My blog today is not about that weird issue but on the unrelated one about the lack on any type of descriptive grammar for Emoji that an author trying to read a book aloud could use as a guide on how the Emoji should or should not be read.

Not that having such a grammar would necessarily help much. The precursor to Emoji (the ASCII leet aka leetspeak aka 1337) *has* such a grammar defined - in its Wikipedia article and elsewhere - yet it was not used in the few cases where it appeared in recorded books such as Mark Russinovich's Zero Day. Reading out the names of the ASCII symbols by name was quite a distraction from pieces of the story that simply doesn't happen when the book is read since the eye knows how to interpret 1337 without such distractions.

Emoji will have much the same problem, and it even lacks the descriptive grammar, not that anyone would use it. I shudder to think of the best case being a static reading of Unicode character names.

It makes me wonder what screen readers do today on blogs like mine with Emoji in them like mine. What is an avid Audible user to do? ;-)

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