emoticons are the crutch of the word-disabled

i abhor emoticons.

let me be more specific: i abhor the little yellow faces adorning blog posts, comments and forum posts all over the internet. a simple, old-fashioned emoticon constructed of punctuation elemements — not so bad. like the smiley made from a colon and an end-paragraph. i’ve been known to occasionally toss one of these onto an email or blog comment when it may have otherwise been unclear that the preceeding sentence was meant in humor. it becomes my body language.

but these ones: ;) :) :( — i cringe when i see them. they are the e-equivalent of being deep in thought and having someone get right in your face and say: hey mr. grumpy-face, did you lose your smile? and the high-tech ones, with abnoxious little outfits and parts that move? well, let’s just say there are moments when violence makes just a tiny bit of sense to me. and more than one in an email, post or comment? this is time for natural selection. people who use multiple emoticons in one paragraph should be banned from the internet for life.

some punk is gonna comment here and put a bunch of ’em, aren’t ya. remember, i can delete comments and block further ones.

really, i’m not cranky today — had a great day at the water park with my daughter; then took her to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (we both cried). but i actually woke up last night thinking about this emoticon thing. consider it my little attempt to make the world better.

9 thoughts on “emoticons are the crutch of the word-disabled”

  1. I remember having a very serious conversation once, back in the early days of online writing, with a few friends who said that emoticons were used most frequently by women and they represented a form of male dominance. They claimed that there was some need women had online to soften their comments or thoughts–and it was especially obvious by the emoticons they threw in every other word.

    so I started noticing, and it was true. Women used many more emoticons than men did. The more insecure the woman, the more emoticons showed up in her writing. I decided that day, back in 1998, that I wouldn’t use emoticons anymore.

    It became a battle cry, and the more my emails were misunderstood (for lack of winks or smilie faces), the more I took pride in my non-emoticon status.

    Then I started working, and I discovered that people needed emoticons from me. It softened my power, took a little bit of the edge off of my words. I was too easily misrepresented without them, and when I asked for something I was more likely to get it if I threw in some kind of smiley face or cock-eyed grin.

    I also noticed that I became more vicious and sarcastic, and added a wink on the end simply because it made all of my nastiness okay. I found myself becoming quite passive aggressive, as well.

    This is a long, mostly purposeless story, but I thought you might find it interesting.

  2. Marko, I’m so glad that you are resting to such a degree that these are the pressing thoughts on your mind! The emoticons sometimes remind me of “valley girl speak” in the eighties–when used sporadically can be funny or appropriate (i.e. gag a maggot :-) ) otherwise completely silly and annoying.

  3. While we are at it – let’s ban the typing in alternating capital/lowercase letters.

    what the @#$% is that all about? I think that is an estrogen thing as well…

  4. HERE HERE!!!

    I have friends who have stopped using the picture emoticons only to replace them with “japanese emoticons”

    these emoticons look like XD and

  5. I couldn’t agree more. The only other thing that bugs me as much as emoticons is the number of people who have abandoned capitalization and/or punctuation. Of course, in your case Marko, I’ll make an exception! : ) (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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