Are You Emotional about Emoticons?
Here are some links to provide you with some catch-up knowledge:
Anyhow, this weblog is about Mother Tongue Annoyances, not about technology news proper. To cut to the chase, I am wondering how y'all feel about emoticons. For those of you who follow this weblog, you have undoubtedly noticed that I tend to use them quite extensively (much to some readers' chagrin, I'm sure). However, I am a very ardent and vocal supporter of emoticons, and I will tell you why.
Let's face it: electronic communication methods such as e-mail, Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging, instant messaging, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Web chat, etc., do not lend themselves very well to conveying the often intricate subtleties of human emotion. I am unable to enumerate how many amends I have had to make to family members, work colleagues (oh, especially work colleagues!), friends, acquaintances, and even near-strangers because my message was misinterpreted by the receiver. Those who know me personally can attest that my sense of humor is as dry as sawdust. We are talkin' D-R-Y. My delivery is so deadpan that you have to either (a) know me very well; or (b) be highly attuned to this brand of humor to know whether I'm joking or serious when I'm in "that" kind of a mood. Unfortunately, neither my mother nor my wife (Paging Dr. Freud! Paging Dr. Freud!) has any appreciation for my ultra-dry wit, and I often land myself in the doghouse when I try to "make a funny" with either of these particular women.
Consequently, at least with regard to my electronic correspondence, I will use emoticons to signal when I make a statement containing humorous intent. In this manner I feel that I have stated "for the record," as it were, that the sentence in question was not intended to be taken seriously. Naturally, my message recipient and I will occasionally become engaged in a semantic argument over such trivialities as whether my emoticon was simply a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to disguise genuine sarcasm, and so forth. How I loathe peeing matches. By the same token, am I "above" them? Absolutely not.