New Puctation – like Math symbols – Smilies have utility

Before craptacular smilies became a semiotic graveyard of meaningless ani-sparkle the internet had a problem.


There was no punctution for tone of voice and transatlantically humour failed to translate.

Flame wars were frequently fanned by misunderstood jokery

<sarcasm>Democracy</sarcasm> markup was tried – but non HTML chat and text email needed something plain text – like an exclamation point, question mark.

And from old school telegraphy came the answer – sideways on a semi colon a hyphen and close bracket.


Side on a winking smiling face – now you knew when someone was joking and many a flame war was averted :-) yay

Emote – icons => emoticons

Now adays historically unaware snobs decry smileys as teen uni-rainbow-sparkle-corn but it is legitimate and necessary punctation – sure you could write “just joking” – just like you can write “STOP” in a telegram but dots as full stops save bandwidth and typing.

:-(  sad    8-)  nerd glasses    :-o  shock / suprise  and then the nose was eliminated and direction abandoned – sometimes to evade gif substitution.

thus ( => )

:D comedy
tragedy D:

In Japan the smiley was right way up, cat based and called Emoji
zen calm

Motion is sequential narrative stylee

Doppler effect in 3 frames
o.O O.O O.o

Replacing ascii smileys with animated gifs is like sticking a brand logo over sumi-e caligraphy – ASCII art is 256 chars (8 bit) beautiful.

Abbreviations, portmanteau, compound words, spoonerisms are the evolution of writing to encompass what people say and we are richer for it. ʘ‿ʘ

Unicode Emoji is teh awesomer.

ʕノ•ᴥ•ʔノ ︵ ┻━┻
is a bear flipping a table = exasperation

shrug = wtf

and the classic reddit staple Emoji of dissaproval

<3 <3 <3


8====D —— (o)(o)


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