1813: Vomiting Emoji
Title text: My favorite might be U+1F609 U+1F93F WINKING FACE VOMITING.
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This comic relates to the recent Unicode v5.0 proposal for a vomiting emoji. Megan suggests that rather than having a single emoji of a vomiting character, it should be possible to combine the vomiting action with any existing emoji. To achieve this, she proposes the new modifier U+1F93F. Six example emojis are given, being progressively more nonsensical, starting with a vomiting cowboy and ending with a vomiting hand. Of course this can lead to a wide array of nonsensical combinations, such as a vomiting winking face mentioned in the title text.
Unicode is the computing industry standard for representing text. More recent additions have included emoji characters, such as grinning face (😁) or a clap symbol (👏). Each Unicode character is assigned a numerical code, usually written in hexadecimal notation. For example, the grinning face emoji is assigned the code U+1F601, and the clap symbol is assigned U+1F44F. Unicode also supports "combining modifiers" which allow, among other uses, placing accents on characters that do not have an accented version elsewhere, adding decorations to other emojis, or changing the colors of flags or skin tones. For example, the letter "n" together with a combining tilde (U+303) modifier results in "ñ", and the man emoji 👨 together with the medium-dark skin tone modifier (U+1F3FE) results in 👨🏾. Among the same lines, if Megan's proposal is adopted, it would theoretically be possible to combine a vomiting modifier with any emoji to produce a vomiting version of that emoji.
The examples given in the comic are:
- Vomiting Cowboy (🤠): This seems reasonable and not much worse off than the regular one.
- Vomiting Statue of Liberty (🗽): Given the turbulent political climate in present-day America, this emoji might see a lot of use by opinionated folks.
- Vomiting Dove (🕊): As the dove is usually seen as a symbol of peace, a vomiting one could be construed as an omen for war or used to depict strong objection to ongoing conflicts. It may also reference a tendency for birds to drop unpleasant things on people below. It is worth noting that pigeons are a subspecies of doves so a dove emoji might as well represent a flying pigeon.
- Vomiting Moon (🌛): This might seem just a little odd as the moon is made of rock and cannot vomit.  In cartoons or fairy tales, moons are often anthropomorphized, though are still never depicted as vomiting.
- Vomiting rocket ship: (🚀) This might be a reference to the "Vomit Comet" aircraft that astronauts train on. Also, space travel can be associated with vomiting. However, since the cabins of rocket ships should be airtight when in flight, vomit coming out of a flying rocket indicates a serious problem.
- Vomiting Hand (✋): This one is just bizarre. Maybe it could be used in the context of some horror flick?
- Winking Face Vomiting (😉, title text): This suggests that the context in which a wink is used is combined with vomiting to humorous effect.
Assigning Unicode characters to emojis has been controversial historically due to the fact that Unicode was created as a standard for text. Emojis, which are essentially drawings of people or objects, aren't typically perceived as parts of text, and so leads some to object co-opting the standard for non-text things. Using combining modifiers to further expand emojis are also seen as an abuse of the original purpose of modifier characters. Jokes that make fun of Unicode, involving emojis that shouldn't exist or inappropriate combinations thereof, are fairly common on the Internet.
In 1726: Unicode, Randall mentioned the proposed "brontosaurus" emoji in Unicode.
- [Cueball, looking at his smartphone, approaches Megan who is sitting at a desk working on her laptop.]
- Cueball: The proposed emoji for Unicode 10.0 look good.
- Megan: Hmm. [vomiting emoji] "U+1F92E FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH VOMITING"
- [Cueball is holding his device lower and no longer looking at it.]
- Cueball: Eww.
- Megan: Really, "vomiting" should be a combining modifier, so you can use it to make a vomiting version of any emoji.
- Cueball: Umm.
- Megan: I'm gonna write up a proposal.
- U+1F93F VOMITING MODIFIER
- [cowboy emoji vomiting] U+1F920 U+1F93F VOMITING COWBOY
- [Statue of Liberty emoji vomiting] U+1F5FD U+1F93F VOMITING STATUE OF LIBERTY
- [dove emoji vomiting, with an olive branch near its head] U+1F54A U+1F93F VOMITING DOVE
- [first quarter moon with face emoji vomiting] U+1F31B U+1F93F VOMITING MOON
- [rocket ship emoji with vomit coming from its window] U+1F680 U+1F93F VOMITING ROCKET SHIP
- [hand emoji with a hole in it, vomit is coming from that hole] U+270B U+1F93F VOMITING HAND
- Wikipedia on physical characteristics of the moon
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