Thursday, December 3, 2009

farmdoc's blog post number 592

A favourite saying of mine is that the older I get, the less I understand human behaviour. Until now, I’ve thought the opposite applies to my own behaviour, i.e. the older I get, the more I understand it. But now I’m less sure. Consider emoticons. There are two types of them: the graphic/icon ones (also called Smilies), and the text ones composed of keyboard keystrokes. It doesn’t matter two hoots, but Wikipedia says both types aren’t new [1, 2]. The former date officially from 1963 but unofficially 1948. And the latter the nineteenth century, and 19.9.82 for its electronic variant. Sometimes I use graphic emoticons. Usually in Skype text conversations. But I’ve never used a keystroke emoticon. Ever. I think they’re stupid. Twee. And arguably emotionless. When I express an emotion, I like to do it my way. Not via a medium invented by someone else and used almost unthinkingly by many people. Everyone except me, it seems. But wait. I have a kindred spirit. Someone who agrees with me. Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote this in two days ago. Titled ‘Death to Smiley: Why emoticons need to die :-( ’ it’s an acerbic though eloquent putdown of keystroke emoticons. With which I thoroughly agree. Especially this line: ‘…when I see a smiley, my first thought is, "What are you, 12 years old?"’ So thank you, Mary Elizabeth. But I still don’t know why I find graphic emoticons okay but text ones not. Ho hum.


Meg said...

I also abhor them, which surprises me, as I usually find new kinds of language and communication exciting.

I am fond though, of the representation of kisses as Xs and hugs as Os. I sent both to you, FD.

farmdoc said...

And I send both to you, Meg. XXOO