The revolution that is ” :-) “


So, my friends and I landed in heated discussion the other day. Is the infamous smiley a good or a bad thing. Let me clarify the arguments:

Pro Smiley:

The Smiley let’s us get our message across easily, setting the tone in written language, which can often be hard. Example: Nikolaj, my dear boss, could write this to me ‘Emma, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a blog entry from you :-)’

Or he could say: ‘Emma, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a blog entry from you’

I think it’s rather clear to everyone that the latter would be perceived as slightly angry, and definitely with a bit more ‘bite’ than the first one. So far, so good.

However, my friends had some arguments looking farther into the future than the above. Here’s what they said: The use of smileys makes us simplify our language, slowly but safely making us worse and worse at expressing our emotions through concise writing. And thereby making our glorious language (which, it seems, is already to some extent disappearing before our eyes due to lack of respect from the Danish language council who keeps trying to ‘renew’ the spelling rules. If a smiley could explain how I feel towards this, it would look like this 🙁 )

So, to sum things up, are smileys helping us, or making our written language more lacklustre than it has ever been?

(A quick anecdote, a friend of mine used smileys in his essay to make his point come across more clearly. Never in my life have I seen my 60 year old teacher so confused “But, dear, what is the point of the semicolon and the parentheses?”)

(A last note: Blog is not a word accepted in the English dictionary. Isn’t it about time? I mean, if bootylicious is in it, then why not blog? Ah well, modern times!)