Dissertation on emoticons

7 Aug

(**Update: WordPress changes my common emoticons from their punctuation form to an animated form. Unappreciated, WordPress. There’s probably a setting to change that, but I couldn’t find it. Hence the “spaced-out-smile” look. You know what I mean. Carry on…)

(**Update #2: Rachel has enlightened me as far as how to turn off the automatic animated emoticons.Yes!! Thanks, Rach! For the rest of you, ignore my previous update. It remains there purely for memory’s sake. And as a tribute to Rachel’s genius.)

Everybody has that one favorite emoticon they use and overuse in emails, texts, twitters, facebook statuses, etc. Or maybe more than just one. But everyone has a specific way that they emoticonnote, that is to say write emoticons.

Some people use the = as the eyes. Such as =) or =D . These display a certain amount of excitement. Constantly. I know several people who use = consistently and I love it. It shows a zeal for life and total wide-eyed excitement. Love it. This is probably my favorite way of emoticonnoting ever. However, I can’t usually pull that off because I tend to be more blah in my emotional swings.

Some people use noseless emoticons. When the eyes are big, as they are in the above example, going noseless is acceptable. Otherwise it’s just lazy. :( See? Sorry to disappoint. It really takes little effort to fill out the face with a nose of sorts. Could be like :-) or :o) or :~) or :+) or :<) . Noseless emoticons rank on my list of pet peeves. One more mark of punctuation, that’s all that’s needed.

Mine always have noses. Always. Whether the nose be a “-” or an “o”, the nose is there. To those noseless emoticons, I attribute the name “lazy smiley.” I refuse to use them. My emoticons deserve a nose.

The :-) kind of nose is what I usually use. It’s basic enough that no one reads into my smile and think I’m too anxious, too sarcastic, not genuine enough, not happy enough. It’s complete, hardly deserving a second thought.

The :o) kind of nose is cute. For some reason I equate it with eating, cute kids, or hidden frustration. Like when I use it, I’m usually thinking, “I should probably put a smile there, but I’m not really happy and I don’t feel like smiling.” This is as close as I’ve come to smiling sarcastically.

The :~) kind of nose screams “broken.” I wince when I see it and have been known to audibly whimper upon such seeings. Do not abuse your emoticons! They may come back to haunt you and break your nose in your sleep!

The :+) nose says, “My emoticonnotor broke my nose, but then had the decency to put a bandaid on it. Thank you, dear emoticonnotor.”

The :<) nose is obviously Italian. Or Roman. Or swollen Swedish. Wait, isn’t Rome in Italy?

Lately, tragedy has struck. As mentioned before, my keys stick occasionally (both on my phone and on my laptop). Thus sometimes when I press a key once or twice or thrice, there is still no resulting character.

And I trimmed my fingernails the other day and chopped my left thumbnail entirely too short, thus hampering my texting speed.

Furthermore, through an amazing display of ballet unlearnedness, last night at work I broke not only my second and last unbroken thumbnail, but also the lid and the cup with which I was twirling around behind the counter.

Thus, those who may have texted me within the past week (or month for that matter) may be confused at my dislike of noseless emoticons. Because I’ve used them. Inadvertantly. And it pains me. But sometimes I hit the punctuation key five times, hoping for a smile complete with a nose, and I get merely a noseless smile. So frustrating. Half the time I don’t notice it until it’s already been sent. The other half of the time, I notice it and continue hitting the punctuation key until my poor broken thumbnail is screaming for a break. Relief is given, and the text is sent with a noseless emoticon.

Now I have a confession. The noseless emoticons have grown on me recently. I even labeled one as cute the other day. I was shocked at myself. It is highly unlikely that I am no longer peeved by this long time pet peeve. However, perhaps I have become more tolerant?Β More importantly, is it totally weird that I have such qualms and unusual things to say about emoticons? Am I please not the only one who reads into them so deeply and attributes such inane characteristics to them?

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3 Responses to “Dissertation on emoticons”

  1. Rachel August 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    I TOTALLY hear you!!! Emoticons and how they are used tell us things about people on a deeper level. My favorite has always been :o), and that is the only one my sister-in-law consistently uses. I don’t mind noseless emoticons like :), but if it is ;), then it needs a nose ;-) Much better! A lot also depends on what font is being used, or how the text is being displayed.

    I’ve never been able to bring myself to use =). I know four or five people who use that one, and I must confess, they are all guys. Therefore, it portrays itself as a masculine emoticon to me, so I don’t use it.

    I’ve never been a fan of the :D either… I think it is the off-centeredness of the D that throws me off. It looks like someone punched him and his smile is crooked…yet still he smiles.

    I like the emoticon :-? to express confusion, and I also like :-/ to express annoyance, but that is one that I rarely use.

    Ha…can’t believe I wrote a comment this long about emoticons. :)

  2. Rachel August 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Oh, wordpress changed all of mine too!!! I’ve always hated how they change : o ) to mean a surprised smile…when the o is supposed to represent the nose. This reminds me that when I had my wordpress blog, I turned off the animations because I hated having posts punctuated by surprised smilies, when that is not what I intended. LOL

    Oh, to change that settings go to “Settings” and then “Writing” and you can click it off.

    • Amanda August 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

      It worked! Thanks so much :-)

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