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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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The "smiley face," consisting of a colon and parentheses is common text and email lingo these days.
The "smiley face," consisting of a colon and parentheses is common text and email lingo these days.

Plagued by the :)

I started doing something I swore I'd never do.

You know that little smiley face, used in texts, emails, instant messages, created by the combination of the colon and parentheses? I hate that little smiley face and somehow I've started using it.

I used to send sarcastic texts or messages and just hope and assume the recipient would catch the context and the tone. If they didn't, I relied on clarifying myself the next time I saw them in person.

But lately, I feel the need to make clear in the text-as if that smiley face indicates that what I'm saying is meant as a joke or in a friendly tone and without it, the essence of the message would be completely lost.

I remember the first time I used it, last week sometime, in a message to someone I don't know very well, thinking I'd use it just this once to simplify my friendly attitude toward said person. Now, it seems to be entering more and more of my daily routine and finding itself into all sorts of texts and emails. 

I have to admit though, that overall, I'm becoming more and more lenient in my texting and emailing standards. I used to text solely with full punctuation and capitalization, as if unwilling to give up the stylistic tradition of formal letters. But now, just like anything over time, I've gotten lazy and throw in abbreviations and half phrases as much as possible.

 

Talkbacks

jthom | Nov. 22, 2009 at 5:59 p.m. (report)

At least it isn't "LOL".
Argh.

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