Dreaming about games based on Unicode

I dreamed that two of my colleagues were playing a game based on pantomiming Unicode code points. One of them got LOW QUOTATION MARK, and the other got a variety of ARROW POINTING NORTHEAST, ARROW POINTING EAST, ARROW POINTING SOUTHWEST.

I wonder how you would pantomime ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER.

Comments (20)
  1. Thomas Winwood says:

    I suspect you'd just leave the room.

  2. D-Coder says:

    Place your hands together palm-to-palm. Move them apart, then back together. Repeat until understood.

  3. Muzer says:

    This actually sounds quite fun to me ;)

  4. Joker_vD says:

    @D-Coder: And to pantomime ZERO WIDTH JOINER, you start with palms apart, then move them together, then back apart. Repeat until people stop guessing ZWNJ.

  5. dave says:

    If I had to pantomime anything greater than U+FFFF, I'd just get a couple of other people to act it out for me.

  6. laonianren says:

    Joiner is easy: mime the use of a saw, a hammer, etc.  Negation is also easy.  Once you've got "non-joiner", it's easy to get from thinness to "zero width non-joiner", assuming the players have a passing familiarity with Unicode.

  7. bdv@inec.ru says:

    Two hands, binary, 32 digits…

    Well, but how you would pantomime "unicode codepoint" ?

  8. Sean says:

    I'd hate to have to pantomime code point U+1F4A9. It could get quite messy. http://www.fileformat.info/…/index.htm

  9. j b says:


    That makes me remember the days of NetNews as a discussion forum: I a heated debate on some library issue ('library' in the original sense – a collection of books), and the debater started throwing Dewey codes as insults to each other

  10. Anonymous Coward says:

    What if you got one of the CJK unified ideographs…

  11. Pantomime it ?  Easy:


    • Oh no it isn't !

      > Ohhh yes it is !

    • Ohhhh no it ISN'T !!

      > Ohhh yes it IS !!!

    MIMING it on the other hand, the act of conveying through silent act and/or gesture…  Yes, I can see how that would be tricky.  ;)

  12. Silly says:

    If I walked in while someone was doing a sequence of arrows, I'd be all like 'SEMAPHORE!!!'. And they'd be all like 'Dude, the theme is Unicode code points'. And I'd take another drink, yell 'SEMAPHORE!!!' again, and then leave the room.

  13. cheong00 says:

    Something like U+4DD5 would be tricky to show

  14. Petter says:

    Jolyon: "Pantomime" can mean "The telling of a story without words, by means of bodily movements, gestures, and facial expressions.2

    [Amusingly, the Wikipedia page for pantomime is quite adamant that pantomime is not mime. On the other hand, the page for mime uses the word pantomime freely. (That said, I found Joylon's pantomime script quite amusing.) -Raymond]
  15. ErikF says:

    If anyone has had to pantomime the ZWNJ, I'm pretty sure that Michael Kaplan would be that person!

  16. Chris J says:

    @Joylon … MSDN blogs need a "like" button :-)

    I suspect this is one of those leftpondian vs. rightpondian language differences. I admit I failed to get the context as well – I've never heard pantomime mean "mime".

    Curious – which unicode code point best represents "He's behind you!"?

  17. Yep.  As a pom (Brit), "pantomime" means only one thing: Boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys, and B-list "used to be" celebrities embarrassing themselves in the name of entertainment.   But all JOLLY good fun.  :)

    Not everything on the internet is true or accurate, and that sadly applies especially in the case of Wikipedia.  The OED is much clearer on the distinction, in both "English" and even "US English" definitions.  I'll take the OED over a definition inferred from a poorly written Wikipedia article any day.  But in that, I think I am sadly in the minority.  :)

  18. j b says:

    If we expand the scope beyond the US English vs. GB English differences,

    "Pantomime" in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch… (there are probably more) unambiguously means acting without words. Sometimes music or sound effects are used.

    I am very surprised to learn that in some English variants, spoken words are used in pantomime. Several of my dictionaries, as well as English language Internet sources (such as http://www.pantomimes-mimes.com) explicitly state that words are not used.

  19. Joker_vD says:

    @j b: It's also true in Russian. Mimes (people) perform pantomimes (activity). Simple and clear.

  20. I am reminded of the fact that Russian has no word for "toes", and instead refers to these appendages as "foot fingers".

    This discovery arose when my Ukrainian girlfriend – now fiancée – cried out in pain that she had hurt her finger.  I went to her aid and was examining her hands in concern, trying to locate any injury, and she asked me "WTF are you doing!?".  "Looking to see what you've done" I explained… at which point her cries of pain became laughter as she realised what had happened, as she had stubbed her toe!

    In English, my "toes" are absolutely not "fingers", and it would be incorrect to use the word "finger" when I mean "toe", even if, in other languages, the word "toes" translates – directly or in similar meaning – to "finger".

    And the language of this blog is… ?  ;)

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