Emoticons and Smileys…. Pro, Con or Neutral?

On a recent comment to a recent post that appeared on these pages, I noticed that the commenter ended a tongue-in-cheek sentence with this smiley ;).   Like everyone else who has used a computer lately, I have seen an array of these little faces everywhere on the internet that I visit.   But I was totally surprised to find this little fella living in my blog comments 8-O.   I thought that the person who left that comment must be super-cool (which he is, of course) 8).   Although I know that it is a sin, I couldn’t help but be green with envy over this person’s computing skills :mrgreen:.  

Not long after seeing that a smiley had taken up residence in my blog, I happened to end a sentence with an old-school “;)”, when, much to my chagrin :? this little guy appeared instead ;).   “What the heck is going on here?” I asked myself (as no one else happened to be in the room at the time) :roll:.   And then it dawned on me that Wordpress might be involved in some way :idea:.  It made me very sad that I had no knowledge about the care and feeding of these smiley creatures, so off I went, searching the Wordpress documentation for clues about this feature :(.   The documentation indicated that Wordpress does include a feature that translates old-school emoticons into these little smileys.  This made me very happy indeed :D.

Now that I had learned Wordpress supported smileys, I needed to find a listing of the smileys available for my use.  Off I went to search the internet for answers :arrow:.   A search on “emoticons” eventually led me to a blog with a post regarding emoticons.  The individual who wrote this post was very angry with computer users who use the services of the smiley critters :x.   In the comments that followed this post, there was a very intelligent discussion among the participants involving the use of emoticons in general, and smileys specifically.  Some considered the smileys to be evil :evil:  twisted creatures :twisted: undeserving of life itself.  Others found the smileys to be cute and helpful in expressing nuances of feeling that are hard to put into words.  Some even expressed disdain for anyone who would consider using smileys :P.  And here I was, doing research to find out how to use these little animated dots.  It was almost enough to make me cry :cry:. 

Like many other things that I don’t think about when I’m not thinking, I never thought that emoticons and smileys could arouse so many emotions in so many people:!:   So now I am perplexed as to what to do – utilize smileys, or ignore them and hope that they go away. 

What is your opinion?

9 thoughts on “Emoticons and Smileys…. Pro, Con or Neutral?

  1. Ah, great subject matter and post! I recall seeing a great printout collection of these little critters in the ASCII teletype and CRT dark (green) ages; some were simply hilarious.

    I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and research on a similar topic… the acronyms used by today’s computer wiz kids. ROTFLMAO !

  2. Oh, and as to an opinion about smileys, perhaps they are not unlike the semicolon – it exists, has a purpose, but should not be overused?

  3. I’m in the “smileys help relay nuances in conversation” camp. However, I normally only use them in chatting situations (such as on MSN or in multi-player video games) and I try to avoid using them in my blog. I think the reason I do this is because I think they CAN be overused, and in a serious piece of writing may have no real purpose. Thus, not wanting my blog to be taken unseriously (is that a word?) I tend to avoid them except in chat…

    And in commenting on other blogs 😉

    Clearly I am a fence-sitter, and my response is probably largely unhelpful.

  4. Say what you will, everyone instantly recognizes what 😆 is trying to convey, whilst ROTFLMAO is not quite so intuitive.

    Incidentally, while ROTFLMAO, I discovered that we need new carpeting!

  5. I’m pro, con, and neutral.

    The first time my traditional favourite emoticon – we’ll see if this works [;-] was translated by a machine – admittedly using the work of a human to do so – I was frustrated. I wanted the old wink to work. But hey, there are three things in life that are certain

    And, Changes in Software.

    That’s my own invention! 🙂

  6. Tjilpi – apparently, WordPress does not understand your dialect of Australian English very well

  7. Oh, as a point of interest, I’m a big geek and could tell you from heart most of the “lmao” “lol” and “omg”s that exist. Just let me know!!

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