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Discussion > Smilies (I know I will be banned for this one)

Ahem, many websites and email providers allow the use of "smilies" which are little cartoon faces expressing joy, sadness, anger and various other emotions. This blog does not enable smilies ^.^
I imagine that smilies are considered plebby and that educated people can express themselves using the richness of the English language without resort to these cartoons.
My own view is that normal conversation allows facial expressions and body language to "add" to the spoken word and that these "clarification aids" are not available in written messages.
What do other bloggers here think?

Oct 15, 2012 at 8:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I think smilies are naff. Like writing "(joke!)" at the end of a joke.

Oct 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

I like them! I also find it necessary on occasion to be explicit and write "joke". You might not be surprised to learn that I have, on occasion, upset email correspondents quite unintentionally (really!). Addition of a simple smiley can make it clear whether something is meant in jest, what ones mood is etc. Of course, just like words, they can also be misinterpreted or misunderstood - on which note, what does ^.^ mean?

Oct 15, 2012 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

I also find it necessary on occasion to be explicit and write "joke".

That perhaps says more than you realise.

Oct 16, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil



This last is a pictogram signifying "layin' around and chillin' ", I think the lingo is. The O is the head and the bar of the T is the hands linked across the chest. One message we can take from emoticons is to never get too staid or too old. Forever young, as the song said.

Oct 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

And while we're at it, why don't we discuss leet (1337), another form of whimsy some poor benighted souls have probably never heard of. =/


Oct 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

Chris M

That brings back memories of the days when Microsoft was just a $ sign in Bill Gates' eyes and Lotus Symphony was the bees knees suite of word processing and spreadsheets. In order to get bold type you had to embed ASCll codes into the body of the document ^.^

Oct 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, we still do embed ascii codes into a document to get bold type!

The bees knees of word processing these days is called LaTeX, which involves writing stuff like {\bf this} to get bold text. Once you get used to it, it's much faster than pointing, clicking and selecting with a mouse.

You still haven't told us what ^.^ means - my guess is raised eyebrows? :)

Oct 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews


As near as I can explain "my" use of ^.^ it means a warm feeling of amusement.

I hate agreeing with BitBucket ^.^ but I have to say I agree with him on this one and say that smilies can elaborate on/clarify written speech. When we speak face to face we can use body language and facial expressions to "qualify or moderate" the spoken word and this is not possible when we communicate using the written word. It is also fun to use smilies.

Oct 18, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterDung


This last is a pictogram

That one's new to me, but I'm afraid it looks more to me like someone face down on his knees (Trenberth looking for the missing heat, perhaps). Mind you, I thought the Olympic logo looked like something else, too, so perhaps it's just me...

Oct 19, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp


I would like to officially request that if smilies are available within your website software package; then you enable them.


Once smilies are enabled they are still only an option and perhaps only idiots like myself will use them.
It will never be possible for the written word to communicate as much as the spoken word plus body language.
Many posts on BH are serious and smilies would not be appropriate and would not be used however there is a great deal of humour on the blog and smilies can add to that.

Oct 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Disagree. One familiar poster would then be putting a smiley after each of his bitter and twisted remarks and saying (as he does anyway) "It was a joke".

Oct 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A

Anyone who overdid it would simply annoy the hell out of everyone else and might get banned ^.^

Oct 28, 2012 at 2:49 PM | Registered CommenterDung