# The need for emoticons?

1. Feb 14, 2005

### cepheid

Staff Emeritus
Is communication over the internet viable without emoticons?

We know that (insert statistic here) percent of all communication is non-verbal, relying heavily on visible cues, tone, inflection, gestures, facial expression, etc. None of these accoutrements are available during an online conversation. :uhh: This can inevitably lead to misunderstanding. The emoticons are everything.

I bet if I were to say: "Hey there PF Sista! Lookin' cute in that habit! :!!) ", The response would invariably be: ::SLAP!::

Whereas if I were to say: "Hey there PF Sista! Lookin' cute in that habit! ", the response would instead be ::KARATE CHOP INTO THE TD FORUM!!!:: :yuck:

I hope you can see the crucial difference here...

All comments are welcome...except those criticising abuse of emoticons.

2. Feb 14, 2005

### dextercioby

WE DON'T NEED EMOTICONS!!*BS!*
We can live very well without them*lying*.
It's stupid to hide your emotions behind these silly little faces*i think this guy's on dope*
These emoticons do not express the reality behind them*oh really?*
When they post this "rofl" stupid emoticon,nobody's really laughing*i bet they're choking with tears*
The one with the pink tongue out in disgust means the poster is laughing his a out*and throwing up severy afterwards*
The one with the red face means that the poster is really happy with what he reads*and this happiness would drive him mad*

And so on and so forth.I ran outta inspiration...*lying*

Anyway,we really don't need them*he's been smoking s***,alright"

Daniel.

3. Feb 14, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
The interesting thing is that people used to be able to communicate perfectly well in written letters without the need of emoticons. Emoticons are more for fun, and also support some degree of laziness on our parts. If we were careful to fully utilize words, we wouldn't need them. I like being able to stick my tongue out at people, that's probably one of my favorite emoticons. And you're right, I'm not always laughing out loud when I use the rofl emoticon or type out LOL. It's more that I found something funny, maybe got a chuckle over it. When I'm really sitting here laughing out loud over something, I'll tell you I can't stop laughing and my sides are hurting, etc. But, part of my problem with using LOL is that when I first encountered it on the internet, I didn't know it was an abbreviation, I thought it was perhaps something a British person would exclaim when shocked, so I don't see it as L-O-L, but read it as a word. I have never gotten that out of my head. I've come very close to saying it aloud in regular conversation many times.

Anyway, if I didn't have emoticons, I'd always have stage directions to rely upon. *shakes head* <---see?

I'm desperately resisting sticking a smiley anywhere in this post, just to prove the point! (On the other hand, I don't want anyone to decide they can just take away the smilies if I argue we don't need them. No, no, no, don't take away my smilies! *flops down on floor in temper tantrum*) Oh, right, nobody's talking about taking them away. *gets up, composes self, dusts off PJs, climbs back in bed with the laptop* Phew! That was a close call. I think I may come across a bit more sane when I just use smilies, don't you think?

4. Feb 14, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

It's probably something along the lines of "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Furthermore, they reduce the need for parenthetical statements.

5. Feb 14, 2005

### Monique

Staff Emeritus
'lol' in Dutch literally means 'fun' :tongue:

for proof you can look it up worldlingo

6. Feb 14, 2005

### the number 42

I think they are okay. Sometimes if you don't make very clear to someone that the statement you have written is ironic, they can send you death threats. Of course these death threats may written out of a sense of loving irony too, but you won't be able to tell unless they write some thing like
"I want to kill you, you b**stard Would you like one pellet of rat poison or two in your coffee next time? :tongue:"
I get this all the time, so appreciate it when people take the trouble to include a smiley.

7. Feb 14, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Oh, no, they all meant it.

:tongue:

8. Feb 14, 2005

### Artman

If you look into the great writings of Tribdog, you will notice that he never uses emoticons (of course this could be because he does not know how).

9. Feb 14, 2005

### the number 42

But Tribdog has a Funniest Geezer of the Year banner beside his name, autmatically conferring EVERYTHING he writes with a massive grin.

10. Feb 14, 2005

### the number 42

What do you mean "they"? Most of them were signed "Lots of love, Moonie Baby"

11. Feb 14, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
:grumpy: Imposters! I can't believe those inept fools are signing my name to those messages. I know better than to sign my name to...er...um...nothing, nevermind. :tongue:

12. Feb 14, 2005

### Joel

Never underestimate the frequency of multiple personality disorders, 42. :tongue2:

Consider this also the first and only ramble warning, so proceed at your own risk.

To continue on Moonbears thought, while people surely used to communicate in writing without emoticons, they did so in carefully written and often drafted letters. Not that I think people of that pre-historic time lacked a sense of humour, but I think they expressed it differently, by carefully choosing their words and metaphors. (For instance, someone posted a tutorial to studying physics from the 50', which was good advice, funny and if found, a useful example for this post).

As far as I know, emoticons entered the scene at the same time as real time chats (did newsgroups have them?). Those, and for the broader public SMS, began a new era in written communication that tried to simulate spoken communication. With only a few seconds to think up and compose ones answer (in real life or a real time chat), I don't think it is surprising that visual ques plays a major role. Nor is it surprising that emoticons was needed to sufficiently simulate spoken communication in writing.

But I think the interesting question is, how did the emoticons end up in forums like this and so many other pieces of writing? Generally you could probably say that our language has become 'simplified' all the time (beginning from way before electronic communication), so how much the net and emoticons has to do with it remains open for debate.

13. Feb 14, 2005

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
14. Feb 14, 2005

### Joel

The only appropriate replay: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Have you considered a career change into teaching creative writing?
That was REALLY funny.

15. Feb 14, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
16. Feb 14, 2005

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
17. Feb 14, 2005

### cepheid

Staff Emeritus
^^^But they used MORE per post...in crazy grids. You know what they say, quantity over quality!

Heh...I really wanted to put the :: rofl :: smilie there.

That second thread is crazy...but the first is funnier.

As for this thread: I've never gotten so many replies in one I started myself before.

18. Feb 14, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Yes, and you did so very well, but that makes it far less gratuitous since they were all in context compared to just adding as many as possible to a single post for no added meaning. :rofl: The subliminal messages were cute too.

Though, anyone who has taught knows that what you described is exactly what you see in the classroom.

19. Feb 15, 2005