PopeWatch: Emoji

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:



The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has approved a new emoji translation of the Mass to help young adults more actively follow along during church services.

“We’ve found that most young adults can no longer read complete sentences or even complete words,” said Vatican spokesman Ronaldo Bernini, going to say that the minority of young adults that can read, cannot do so fast enough to keep up with the blistering pace of the Mass. “We still have some work to do before the final version comes out. We’ve hired over one hundred teenagers to look over the new missal and to see whether, for instance, our choice of a clover is the best emoji for the word consubstantial.”

Bernini said that he hopes the new missal will not only help young adults better understand the Mass, but that it might also help parents learn how to tell their children that they love and miss them without having to “navigate the treacherous waters of actually having to talk.”



When asked about this Pope Francis said, “I am skeptical about these new fangled innovations in the Liturgy.  We should stick with the tried and true, like the Twitter Mass.”

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  1. Hieroglyphics II, and by an offspring called Ronaldo!
    What will happen to the saying of ‘it’s all Greek to me’?
    Can imagine endless periodic editions of trashed paperback missalettes with the emoji key as the one dog-eared page.

  2. Forgive me for being technical, but please note that there is a difference between Emoji (from the Japanese “e” for “picture” and “moji” for “character”) and Emoticon (from the English “Emotion Icon”). The various pictographs above appear to be Emoticons, but this is perhaps a moot point given that there is significant overlap.
    My understanding is that in addition to “English” and “Japanese” versions, there is also a Korean version (i.e., South Korean, the North having only the cyber skills necessary to bring down Sony pictures – hmmm….) and a Chinese version. There are entire software industry standards devoted to this sort of thing.
    Nevertheless, I would be as appalled in seeing such icons on a Supervisory Panel Display at a Commercial Nuclear Power Plant or on a Reactor Plant Control Panel Display within a Nuclear Submarine as I would in a translation of the Liturgy of the Mass for young adults.
    But recently I received a paper to read on how the job skills and techniques of millennials are so different than (and advanced above) those of us older folk that we now have to change entire texts of technical material just to communicate with them. So frankly while this episode of the parody of Eye of the Tiber is quite humorous, there may be more than a bit of a prophetic element to Donald McClarey’s post. I therefore await with great trepidation the next revision of NUREG-0711, Human Factors Engineering Program Review Model, by the US NRC. Where the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission goes, surely the Vatican will follow. Or do I have that backwards given the Vatican’s 2000 year head start in bureaucratic nonsense?
    Did I just use an Emoticon or an Emoji ?

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