October 24, 2021

Drunk Texting The Evolution of the Whiskey Glass Emoji

6 min read


Meet Codepoint U+1F943.

That’s the title for what’s generally referred to as the whiskey glass emoji, no less than amongst these fluent in Unicode speech. It’s principally the Libbey Signature Stinson 12-ounce Rocks Glass half-full with a bourbon that’s been aged six years. No less than to my eye—however possibly it’s a Jamaican rum.

Possibly it’s an unsweetened tea.

And that’s provided that you’re on an iPhone. Should you’re on an Android, the icon is barely completely different. It options what I’m fairly positive is the Libbey Preston 13-ounce Rocks Glass, with barely tapered sides. It’s only about one-third crammed. And if that’s whiskey, it’s not whiskey you’d need to drink. It’s murky and suspiciously multi-hued. Possibly it’s a chocolate Martini that’s gone rogue from U+1F378—Unicode for the cocktail glass emoji.

It’s as if Apple and Android function completely different bars and have completely different specs for a similar drinks, similar to in actual life. I’ll get into this divergence in a second, however first I’ve a query for you: How does this whiskey glass emoji make you’re feeling?

That’s what emoticons and emojis have been initially designed for: expressing emotion. Whereas proto-emoticons could possibly be discovered as early because the 1870s (referred to as “typographical artwork”), the primary trendy emoticon arose within the early Nineteen Eighties. This was the sideway smiley face to point that what the author wrote wasn’t really severe: :-). It was a wink rendered in typographic type.

Conveying emotion in phrases is sophisticated. Whereas an attentive author can convey sarcasm or irony with some deft phrasing, it takes thought and work, particularly when texting on these flip telephones of yore with Chiclets-like keys. Even then, conveying emotion with phrases could possibly be open to misinterpretation, particularly in case your missive was despatched to somebody whose first language was not your first language.

Emoticons developed and have become ever extra complicated, with eight-character variations like ¯_(ツ)_/¯ changing eight-letter phrases like “no matter” as a result of, you understand, comfort. And LOLs.

The start of the tip of the emoticon occurred in 1999. That’s the yr emojis have been developed by Shigetaka Kurita, an artist working with a Japanese cell phone firm that catered to teenagers. He devised the primary palette of 176 emojis. Out have been punctuation marks conscripted into obligation they by no means signed up for; in have been easy 12-by-12-pixel symbols representing issues similar to a smiling face, the solar, an astrological signal, a baseball, a coronary heart and overly giant exclamation factors.

Emojis have been a extra superior type of digital hieroglyph. The Sideways Smiley and Sideways Winking Smiley expanded their household, including siblings like Face with Tongue, Winking Face with Tongue, Smiling Face with Coronary heart-Eyes, Smiling Face with Sun shades and lots of extra.

Emojis have been now capable of convey extra complicated feelings than simply “blissful” and “unhappy.” Like, “what you wrote makes me need to vomit,” or “oh my god I’m blushing.”

In the US, techies at Google and Apple caught wind of this development and sought to make sure that the packets of numbers that signify, effectively, every little thing on a pc could be uniformly interpreted no matter platform. This cluster of numbers would seem on any pc or smartphone as a smiley face; that cluster would come up as a flamenco dancer.

In order that they petitioned the Unicode Consortium, a world nonprofit that establishes requirements of worldwide keyboard compatibility to incorporate emojis of their schemes. In 2010, the Consortium agreed, and the emoji started its ascent to ubiquity. Wiredjournal wrote that emojis “signify the primary language born of the digital world, designed so as to add emotional nuance to in any other case flat textual content.”

Now, let me ask once more: What kind of emotional nuance does the whiskey glass convey? How does the whiskey glass make you’re feeling?

I personally don’t discover the whiskey emoji very celebratory nor uplifting. Then once more, I’m a glass- half-empty type. The glass is austere and appears slightly lonely and Willy Loman-ish. I all the time image it below a single gentle in a dim bar that smells of damp towels. Is that Tom Waits over there? Probably.

Others see it as extra festive. Dwayne Johnson is a serial person of the tumbler emoji on Twitter as @TheRock, the place he invariably posts it after the phrase “Cheers.” He used it when celebrating the discharge of Teremana, his new tequila model, and was profligate with it when thanking Twitter denizens for liking his summer time 2021 film, Jungle Cruise.

When the primary palette of emojis debuted between 2010 and 2015, the consuming scene was restricted. It consisted of wine, beer, sake, Martinis and tropical drinks. The whiskey tumbler didn’t be a part of the household till 2016. It really had an emoticon ancestor. Early on, a crude drink image was crafted utilizing Unicode-approved “Ideograph-65E6,” which could possibly be seen as a stylized model of a half-full tumbler on a coaster (旦) This was usually accompanied by symbols depicting an individual consuming 旦_( ˚ ‹˚ ) or having drunk ( -_-)旦. It didn’t essentially imply liquor, although, and was generally used for tea.

New emojis are proposed by the general public and voted upon by Unicode members at common intervals; after approval, they’re usually folded into the following improve of a telephone’s working system. Every telephone working system chooses the artwork it desires to make use of to depict the icon, in order that’s the way you get variations. Think about the tropical drink emoji: Apple’s featured a lime and a cherry garnish; Samsung’s had a cocktail umbrella and was initially swimming-pool blue. An early Android model of the wine glass contained a liquid that was very orange and regarded extra like cognac than cabernet.

So the whiskey tumbler various in look relying whether or not you have been utilizing Apple or Android. Additional variations flared up elsewhere. The Samsung, Twitter and Microsoft tumbler featured a single giant ice dice; one had a sphere and the others ice from one of many higher Hoshizaki ice machines.

A dust-up arose with the iOS 11.1 improve in October 2017, wherein Apple subtly altered the whiskey glass. The tumbler all of the sudden had larger sides and was depicted as considered straight on reasonably than from barely above. Nevertheless it was the liquid inside that was most controversial—it was not a lucid and welcoming amber, however one thing murkier. Possibly an apple juice or a flat soda? Rumors arose that Apple was catering to the anti-alcohol crowd and wished it extra ambiguous. Uproar ensued. Within the subsequent working system improve two months later, it went again to the unique model, the place it has since remained.

For the reason that whiskey tumbler was launched, a number of different beverage emojis have been launched. In 2017, the Cup with Straw got here out—also called the Go-Cup, which was handy during a pandemic in which to-go drinks became more widespread. And in 2019, the Mate Drink (a gourd with a metallic straw) and Juice Field have been rolled out, occupying reverse ends of the business drinks spectrum.

Coming later this yr, as a part of Emoji 14.0, is “Pouring Liquid,” which depicts a glass pouring out a vibrant blue liquid that may be interpreted as both water or blue Curaçao, relying upon your tribe. The brand new emoji will probably floor in your telephone someday in mid-2022. What this represents is unsure, however maybe displays the rise of the Sober Curious.

One different consuming vessel has been pushing for recognition—the porrón. It’s a glass wine pitcher fashionable in Catalonia that includes an extended and delicate spout that permits drinkers to pour a skinny stream of wine into their mouths with out touching their lips to it. Variations of it have been round since no less than the fifteenth century, and but it appears trendy and made for an infinite pandemic.

It’s not a universally fashionable vessel. George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia wrote, “I went on strike and demanded a drinking-cup as quickly as I noticed a porrón in use.” However supporters of the brand new emoji can have none of this, and level out of their petition that “it helps to create neighborhood, to strengthen the bonds throughout the meals [and is] a option to perceive a lifetime of sharing.”

Which, it ought to be mentioned, can also be true of Codepoint U+1F943.



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