Wednesday, 29 August 2018

🔣 or extended character set

Thanks to Duck Soup for directing our attention to the first instalment (update: here is part two and part three of the series) of Keith Houston’s investigation into the fascinating history of emoji and its linguistic cachet.
First originating as an unexpected outcome of Japanese teenagers using pervasive pagers (pocket bells, poké beru) in a novel way with messages encoded in numerals, the company that oversaw the country’s largest cellular network conceded to popular pressure and enabled what we would recognise as texting with the number keypad. Eventually the ❤ was added to the vocabulary of possibilities—which is a bit ambiguous in terms of meaning in different contexts. Temporarily abandoned as a frivolity, customers demanded it back and inspired the company to offer more. Be sure to check back with Shady Characters to get the next parts of the story.