The typewriter emoji is dead; long live the typewriter emoticon

Richard Polt reports sad news from the Typewriter Insurgency:

A few years ago I kvetched about the lack of a typewriter emoji and even started a letter-writing campaign. Well, there is a formal and elaborate process for requesting a new emoji. And since nobody else seemed to be doing it, I sat down last summer and created a proposal that I sent to the emoji subcommittee of the Unicode Technical Committee.

The response he received:

Thank you again for your proposal. The emoji subcommittee has reviewed it, and has decided to decline the addition of “typewriter”. The statistics do not seem to justify the addition. The “office” category of emoji is already well represented and of lower usage than many other emoji. The “keyboard” emoji is also very close to this.

Alas, it is not to be. I thank Richard for fighting this battle on behalf of the Insurgency. But perhaps instead of seeking legitimacy from within the Paradigm, we should invent a lo-fi typewriter emoticon that anyone can deploy at will. A simple but powerful symbol for the Revolution, a la the Mockingjay or the Bat-signal. This would also better align with the Insurgency’s principles.

My first attempt: ‘[:::] 

This is more of a from-above view, whereas Richard chimed in with a good one that is more of a side view: ~/:::/º 

The degree symbol isn’t very common (the Mac shortcut is Alt-Shift-8), though it’s a secondary character within the zero on iPhone keyboards. The bullet point • could be another option as it’s also in the iPhone punctuation menu.

But these are starting points. How can we make it better?

5 responses to “The typewriter emoji is dead; long live the typewriter emoticon”

  1. It ought to be typable on a typewriter, and many of them don’t have square brackets. Would this work? ‘(:::)

    1. You’re right. That’s probably as close as we’ll get to a typewriter-friendly one.

  2. I also managed to come up with one version of a top view like this:

    The top row being the carriage and the bottom row being the keyboard, perhaps?

    1. Ooooooo, love it. An emoticon for all angles I say!

  3. Since you mentioned the degree sign, do you all know how to type a degree sign on a typewriter?