Saturday, 13 February 2010

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

My friend, I call her Grandma, (See "What Would Grandma Do") and I enjoy arguing over the smallest things. She's over seas at the moment so arguing face to face, as we usually would, has become somewhat difficult. Email is the answer. Today's argument was about the infamous Lynn Truss and emoticons.

Grandma: If I did emoticons, I'd do a smiley face one right about now. But I don't. Emoticons are the evil of modern man.

Me: Lynn Truss is on board with emoticons, they can't be that bad.

Grandma: Lynn Truss cannot be okay with emoticons. I don't believe you.

Me: We shall see! I'm going to find "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" she says it in there somewhere! I'll be back soon to direct quote her!

I ran off to find the book and flicked through the pages excited at finally getting a chance to prove my ever so intelligent friend wrong. I found where she talks about emoticons so started typing it out.

"Lynn Truss: Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Page 192-193. "You will know all about emoticons, emoticons are the propper name for smileys. And a smiley is, famously, this: :-). Forget the idea of selecting the right words in the right order and channelling the reader's attention by means of artful pointing. Just add the right emoticon to your email and ... See Moreeveryone will know what self-expressive effect you thought you kind-of had in mind. Anyone interested in punctuation has a dual reason to feel aggrieved about smileys, because not only are they a paltry substitute for expressing oneself properly; they are also designed by people who evidently thought the punctuation marks on the standard keyboard cried out for an ornamental function. What's this dot-on-top-of-a-dot thing for? What earthly good is it? Well, if you look at it side-ways, it could be a pair of eyes. What's this curvy thing for? it's a mouth, look! Hey, I think we're on to something. :-(. Now it's sad! ;-) it looks like it's winking! :-r It looks like it's sticking its tongue out! The permutations may be endless: :-/ mixed up! <:-) dunce! :-[ pouting! :-O surprise!. Well, that's enough. I've just spotted a third reason to loathe emoticons.."

As i typed this out, I realised how wrong I was.

Maybe I should give up using emoticons, afterall I have noticed i've dangerously started to use the shocked face :O as a replacement for the humble comma when writing emails, well, maybe just one more.


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