Drunk Texting The Evolution Of The Emoji Whiskey Glass

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Meet code point U + 1F943.

This is the name of what is commonly referred to as the whiskey glass emoji, at least among those fluent in Unicode. This is basically the Libbey Signature Stinson 12oz Rocks Glass half full with a six year old bourbon. At least in my eyes, but maybe it is Jamaican rum.

Maybe it’s unsweetened tea.

And that’s only if you’re on an iPhone. If you are on Android, the icon is slightly different. It features what I’m pretty sure is the 13oz Libbey Preston Rock Glass, with slightly tapered sides. It is only about a third full. And if it’s whiskey, it’s not whiskey you want to drink. It’s cloudy and strangely multicolored. Perhaps it was a Chocolate Martini that became a U + 1F378 — Unicode thug for the cocktail glass emoji.

It’s like Apple and Android operate different bars and have different specifications for the same drinks, just like in real life. I’ll cover that discrepancy in a moment, but first I have a question for you: How do you feel with this highball glass emoji?

This is what emoticons and emojis were originally designed for: expressing emotion. While proto-emoticons could be found as early as the 1870s (called “typographic art”), the first modern emoticon appeared in the early 1980s. It was the smiley face aside to indicate that what the writer has writing was not really serious: :-). It was a wink in typographic form.

Conveying emotion with words is complicated. While an attentive writer can convey sarcasm or irony with skillful wording, it does take some thought and work, especially when texting on those old-fashioned flip phones with keystrokes. Chiclets type. Even then, conveying emotions in words can be confusing, especially if your missive was sent to someone whose first language was not your first language.

Emoticons have evolved and become more and more complex, with eight character versions like ¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯ replacing eight letter words like “whatever” because, you know, convenience. And the LOLs.

The beginning of the emoticon’s end happened in 1999. This was the year emoticons were developed by Shigetaka Kurita, an artist working with a Japanese mobile phone company that catered to teenagers. He designed the first palette of 176 emojis. Outside there were punctuation marks enlisted in the service for which they never signed up; there were simple 12 x 12 pixel symbols depicting things like a smiley face, the sun, an astrological sign, a baseball, a heart, and oversized exclamation marks.

Emojis were a more advanced form of digital hieroglyph. The Sideways Smiley and the Sideways Winking Smiley have expanded their family, adding siblings like Face with Tongue, Winking Face with Tongue, Sourire Face with Heart-Eyes, Smiling Face with Sunglasses and many more.

Emojis were now able to convey more complex emotions than just “happy” and “sad”. Like, “what you wrote makes me want to throw up” or “oh my god I’m blushing”.

In the United States, techs from Google and Apple caught wind of this trend and sought to ensure that the packets of numbers that represent, well, everything on a computer would be interpreted uniformly regardless of the platform. form. This group of numbers would appear on any computer or smartphone in the form of a smiley face; this group would come as a flamenco dancer.

So they petitioned the Unicode Consortium, an international nonprofit organization that sets global keyboard compatibility standards to include emojis in their programs. In 2010, the Consortium agreed and the emoji began its rise to ubiquity. WiredThe magazine wrote that emojis “represent the first language born of the digital world, designed to add an emotional undertone to otherwise flat text.”

Now let me ask you again: what sort of emotional undertone does the highball glass convey? What does the whiskey glass make you feel?

Personally, I don’t find whiskey emoji to be very festive or uplifting. Then again, I’m the half-empty glass type. The glass is austere and looks a bit lonely and Willy Loman-ish. I always imagine it under one light in a dim bar that smells of damp towels. Is that Tom Waits over there? Perhaps.

Others see it as more festive. Dwayne Johnson is a serial user of the goblet emoji on Twitter as @TheRock, where he invariably posts it after the word “Cheers.” He used it in the celebration of the release of Teremana, his new brand of tequila, and was prodigious with her thanking the people of Twitter for liking her summer 2021 movie, Jungle cruise.

When the first emoji palette debuted between 2010 and 2015, the consumer scene was limited. It consisted of wine, beer, sake, martinis and tropical drinks. The whiskey glass didn’t join the family until 2016. It actually had an emoticon ancestor. At first, a raw drink symbol was designed using Unicode approved “Ideograph-65E6”, which could be thought of as a stylized version of a half-full cup on a coaster (æ—¦). It was usually accompanied by symbols representing a person drinking æ—¦ _ (Ëš ‹˚) or having drunk (-_-) æ—¦. However, this did not necessarily mean alcohol and was commonly used for tea.

New emojis are offered by the public and voted on by Unicode members at regular intervals; after approval, they are usually incorporated into the next upgrade of a phone’s operating system. Each phone operating system chooses which art it wants to use to represent the icon, this is how you get variations. Consider the tropical drink emoji: Apple’s featured a garnish of lime and cherries; Samsung had a cocktail umbrella and was originally pool blue. An early Android version of the wineglass contained a very orange liquid and looked more like cognac than cabernet.

So, the appearance of the whiskey glass varied depending on whether you were using Apple or Android. Other variations have erupted elsewhere. The Samsung, Twitter and Microsoft cup featured a single large ice cube; one had a sphere and the others had ice from one of the best Hoshizaki ice machines.

A dust arose with the iOS 11.1 upgrade in October 2017, in which Apple subtly changed the whiskey glass. The goblet suddenly had taller sides and was depicted as seen from the front rather than slightly above it. But it was the liquid inside that was the most controversial – it was no longer a lucid and inviting amber, but something more murky. Maybe apple juice or a flat soda? Rumors circulated that Apple was dealing with the anti-alcohol crowd and wanted it more ambiguous. The outcry ensued. In the next operating system upgrade two months later, it reverted to the original version, where it has remained ever since.

Since the release of the whiskey glass, several other drink emojis have been released. In 2017, the Cup with Straw was released, also known as the Go-Cup, which came in handy during a pandemic in which take-out drinks became widespread. And in 2019, the Mate Drink (a gourd with a metal straw) and the Juice Box were rolled out, occupying opposite ends of the commercial drink spectrum.

Coming later this year, as part of Emoji 14.0, “Pouring Liquid,” which features a glass pouring a bright blue liquid that can be interpreted as water or blue Curacao, depending on your tribe. The new emoji will likely surface on your phone in mid-2022. What this represents is uncertain, but perhaps reflects the rise of the Sober Curious.

Another drinking vessel lobbied for recognition: the porrón. It is a glass wine pitcher popular in Catalonia with a long, delicate spout that allows drinkers to pour a thin stream of wine into their mouths without touching their lips. Versions of it have been around for at least the 15th century, and yet it looks modern and made for an endless pandemic.

It is not a universally popular vessel. George Orwell in Tribute to Catalonia wrote: “I went on strike and asked for a tumbler as soon as I saw a porrón in use.” But supporters of the new emoji will have none of this, and stress in their petition that “it helps to create community, to strengthen bonds during meals”. [and is] a way of understanding a life of sharing.

Which, it must be said, is also true for code point U + 1F943.


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