Text is plain. Emotions can't be portrayed very well with text alone, especially in just speech text. Forums, email and chats are where these problems particularly play out. I find it odd that offense can be easily taken with such mediums. As emotions cannot be portrayed in such ways, everything should be taken with a grain of salt. Yet, time and time again I see someone getting mad over something said, in jest, when the meaning was read wrong.
That's why smilies were created, and that's their primary use. If you're sad, you put a frowning face. If youre happy, you put a frowning face. If you're a lion, you put a >:3 face. Forums with graphic smilies allow for even more portrayals, as they'll often show things not easy to type in text characters alone. Even then, though, even in situations where sarcasm and jest is expected, they're still needed in large numbers.
There's an older saying on Notebook Forums that goes "a smilie to soften the blow". It was created after the obvious inclusion of smilies to indicate sarcasm didn't become so obvious to some members, so it was tacked on to point it out. Still, its a creed forgotten from time to time, and every now and again people need to be reminded that not everything said on the internet is meant as it sounds.
Date posted: 11 June, 2007 Tags: internet linguistic
« Description and Direction | Recommended Misspelling »