Some Emotions About Emoticons

by Liz Colville

Writer Ben Widdicombe is not happy about the rise of the emoticon in society, but he is also really good at inventing highly original emoticons, which makes his argument kind of hard to agree with! His article is also titled in a way that wittily references Miley Cyrus! Writing in T magazine, he says that the emoticon phenomenon, surprise, has a lot to do with texting, and perhaps our need to clarify an emotion when words alone won’t do (and can often confuse people awfully into thinking you hate them when you love them, and vice versa, etc.) His Blackberry, he says, offers 30 emoticons with illustrations and instructions on how to type them out. Helpful, maybe, but:

Once you start relying on [emoticons] to communicate…the problem becomes that you need even more complicated emoticons to express more specific meanings. Perhaps //;; could indicate “sorry I got so drunk at your party last night that I put on a lampshade and then burst into tears.” Or ooOO!! for “congratulations on your latest cosmetic surgery.”

Dude, keep going! Or I will.

Let the Highly Specific Emoticon Games begin! Not what he intended at all, but too bad.

^^:/^^ “I’m not enjoying this weekend ski trip.”
==>……0 “Could you please remember to put the toilet seat down.”
 :___ ( “I’m crying but it’s so cold outside that my tears have frozen into one solid icicle on my face” (inspired by an emoticon typo of Edith’s).
{-} “I just finished eating an apple.”
O “Wow, the moon is so bright, and almost full, but not quite. Or maybe it is, JESUS, it’s hard to tell.”
 : ( “I want you to know that as much as I enjoyed the sex that we had, it’s probably better that we just be friends.”

OK, your turn.