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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Being Modern: Emoticons

    Being Modern: Emoticons
    Kate Burt
    Sunday 12 February 2012

    This year marks an unusual 30th birthday. It was in 1982 that Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, suggested that users of his college's online messageboard combine a colon, hyphen and bracket to highlight sarcastic posts and curb misunderstandings. Thus, the online "smiley face" was born.

    Since then, emoticons symbols made from various parts of our computer keyboards to denote sentiment in digital communication have themselves become an emotive subject. And if you are still confused, let's just say o_O (translation: "Are you serious?").

    Such bastardisations are to punctuation what text acronyms are to vocabulary and both made the Oxford English Dictionary last year, including OMG, LOL and <3 ("heart"). Proof that, in recent years, emoticons have become a standard communication tool.

    But to many they are still the punctuation equivalent of the Comic Sans font or a "wacky" tie: crass. This isn't helped by the fact that mobile phones now aggressively convert certain punctuation sequences into garish images of faces grinning, winking or frowning without one's consent. The writer Lynne Truss (whose Eats, Shoots & Leaves has the subtitle "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation") perhaps unsurprisingly considers emoticons "disrespectful to sentences". And it's true that writers such as Jane Austen managed to convey wit, doubt and surprise without them. They, though, had the luxury of using long sentences, while we live in an era in which news increasingly finds itself broken down into 140-character missives. So perhaps it is time for the pedants to change.

    If only because we need to put our glasses on to decipher them, few adults would argue for complex examples such as \m/>_<\m/ ("rockin' out" keep looking, you'll get it eventually). Yet, love or loathe emoticons, this creative invention of a globally understandable new language is, in fact, an incredible and brilliantly democratic feat. Now, where are those glasses ;-)

    independent.co.uk

  2. #2
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    examples such as \m/>_<\m/ ("rockin' out" – keep looking, you'll get it eventually)
    I am very old.
    Can someone explain it please?

  3. #3
    Mid
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    not I

  4. #4
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    ^

  5. #5
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    If you are anyone other than a teenage girl, you should be drawn and quartered for using "LOL" in a text or an e-mail. Sorry, or, I guess, if you are a gay teenage boy.

  6. #6
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    The equivalent of using gold star stickers, not a language, decoration only.

  7. #7
    My kind of town
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    If you are anyone other than a teenage girl, you should be drawn and quartered for using "LOL" in a text or an e-mail. Sorry, or, I guess, if you are a gay teenage boy.
    LOL

  8. #8
    Dan
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    It's a fist with raised index and little fingers.
    this creative invention of a globally understandable new language is, in fact, an incredible and brilliantly democratic feat.
    Yes.

  9. #9
    loob lor geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    If you are anyone other than a teenage girl, you should be drawn and quartered for using "LOL" in a text or an e-mail. Sorry, or, I guess, if you are a gay teenage boy.
    LOL
    At least you got it in the right context LOL

    Oh fook....here coom de man wit de knife

  10. #10
    En route
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    LMFAO

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koojo View Post
    LMFAO

    ROTFLMAO....

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