Does it make you smile?

I am of the opinion that an excessive use of smiley-faces in writing is bad. You ask: “Why, what’s wrong with smiley-faces?” Well, there’s nothing wrong with them. I prefer cats to dogs, but that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with dogs. This is just my preference. And as such, my desire is not to condemn the opposite opinion, but only to lay out before you the reasons for my bias so that you may consider them.   

First of all, I want to make clear that the real problem is not smiley-faces; it is the excessive use of smiley-faces. An occasional smiley is not bad. It serves a purpose. It lets the you know that the author meant to make you smile. And you do. But when a writer has been liberal in his use of smileys, the smiley perfectly placed no longer has special meaning. It has no purpose; It’s been ruined. When I’ve been made to believe that I should be taking great pleasure in every sentence of what I read, I don’t get as much pleasure out of the one sentence that really deserves it.

Secondly, I get tired of being shown when to smile. This may sound weird, but to me this is often the way it seems. I read sentence after sentence ending with: (smile here!), and it’s usually a bit over the top. I would much rather be prompted to smile by the words themselves, and not by the smiley.

Thirdly I believe that the use of smiley faces is promoting poor comunication skills. People are forgetting how to express emotion in writing without them. Are the Shakespeares of today the ones who know how to pen (or finger) the most fitting and unique smileys at the apropriate times? When people know how to express and make understood emotions through the words alone, this is when my most genuine smiles occur. It may be that the only way to revive truely emotive writing in the world is to back away from these grinning little theives.


18 thoughts on “Does it make you smile?

  1. Preach it sista’. Welcome the to the league of smiley face snobs.

    Of course, we only hate the sin, not the sinners.

  2. Look at that! Bryan’s comment could have been:

    Preach it sista’ 🙂 . Welcome the to the league of smiley face snobs. 😉

    Of course, we only hate the sin, not the sinners. 😛

    Now admit it: You wouldn’t have enjoyed his comment half so much if it had been that way.


  3. Yeah, I smiled when I read his comment,even though he didn’t have it saturated with smileys.

    Great post, Laura. As you know, I’m in agreement.


  4. Laura…great post 🙂 🙂 I must admit 🙂 your opinion was well thought out, and well written 🙂 I totally agree with it 🙂 You should ask me some time, though 🙂 why I put so many smily faces in this comment 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. By the way, how’s “smiley” supposed to be spelled?


    It’s been spelled various ways in the above comments.

  6. I’ll give you a hint to mull over 😉 How many smily faces did you see in my last blog post 😉 think about that one for a little while 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Whoa, I’m not sure where I’ve been for the last few weeks…I guess I missed something. Laura, great post. I think that what you said is right on…but I think (now) that every person is different in the way they read and things that they draw out of things that have been written. For me personally, the smiley’s help me to better understand the person writing. They’re almost like a word themselves. I have to think, “Why would they have put that there?” So, I guess in one sense I see what you’re saying and I don’t “disagree” with you. On the other hand, I, personally, enjoy them and will continue to use them despite your post (but I understand why you will not.) Plus they just make me happy 🙂

    Jacob, I’ve got to admit you’ve got me lost on this one too 🙂

  8. Um…………….What’s going on?? 😦
    I like totally missed out on this!! 😦 Hey Laura, what do you have to say about frowning faces?? 🙂

    I personally like smiley faces, but nice post!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (I hope I’m not irritating you!!:)

    Bethany K. 🙂

  9. Smileys, frownies, “tongue-out-ies” . . . they’re are all the same to me.

    However, I need to put up a new post before everyone gets the impression that I absolutely can’t stand smiley faces.


  10. Well, honestly, I was only smiling to make a point. I didn’t have to say anything in that comment. I was smiling. And you got that, Laura. Without words.

    I too think emoticons can be overused, but in personal, friendly, casual computer conversation, I think they can be a funny, lighthearted, genuine enhancement. The choice of face often makes me laugh more than the choice of words. But most often I find that the words and the face only aid in enhancing each other. Anyway. I find no place for snobbery in the emoticon world. It’s just a matter of preference. But, whatever. 😉

    However, a word does need to be said about letting the emoticons replace punctuation . . . .

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