Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

A Tiny Thought on Emoticons

As we move more and more of our communication to electronic routes I find it more and more common that I misunderstand someone or they misunderstand me. I suppose this is partly due to the shorthands that we have all fallen for. These written shortcuts are sometimes as difficult to parse as a doctor’s handwriting, both of which are lacking because the author is trying very hard to save time (trust me on the doctor thing; that’s all it is).

And so we have the emoticon, the little figures that have been spawned by the ubiquitous smiley face, to help us express the emotional intent of the author. These, too, are lacking for they cannot truly convey the same subtlety as an upturned corner of the mouth, a flaring nostril, or the slight tremor in an angry voice. It’s important to keep this in mind each time we communicate in this manner, here and elsewhere.

There is, for example, no emoticon for a wry chuckle.

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