I really do. In fact I will go so far as to say that I hate smiley users. I hate them in that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” kind of way. The only thing I probably hate more than smilies and their users are people who make sweeping generalisations. I am not that kind of person. I understand fully that not all smiley users are the same and that some clearly deserve to be hated more than others.
In my view smiley users can be divided into three groups. I have taken the time to list them in ascending order of deplorability.
The Coward: Not basing my assertion on scientific research I would say 80% of smiley users fall into this category. These are the ones who will make a remark which on its own can be deemed offensive/insulting yet when followed by a colon and a closing parenthesis is apparently transformed into a joke.
Me: Last night I got completely drunk and woke up face down in a ditch.
The Coward: Girl, you’re so crazy
Translation: You are one irresponsible individual, have you no shame? Your drinking is spiralling out of control and from this day forward I shall go to great lengths to avoid you.
If I were a Coward too, (perish the thought!) my response would be
Me: I know
Do not despair if you are in this category, there is redemption. All you need to do is develop the ability to say what you mean, it really is that simple.
Like a 55 year old smoker who had their first cigarette aged 13 behind the bike shed but never progressed to marijuana, this type of smiley user does not always progress onto the next category. Sadly a few do.
The Neanderthal: This smiley user has decided that minor details such as letters and words serve no other purpose but complicate English in its written form. This user instead constructs a whole sentence (if you can call it a sentence) using nothing but smilies.
Relying on the same drunken ditch conversation, Neanderthal is likely to respond to my admission as follows,
Translation: Oh my God! No way. I don’t know what to say. That is so embarrassing and yet incredibly funny too.
*Until I wrote this post I was blissfully unaware that someone somewhere had invented an exclamation mark smiley. Our inventors of the past gave us electricity, the telephone, yet you, who ever you are, you real man/woman of genius, I salute you, for you have given us a visual representation of a visual representation.* (Copyright Bud Light)
If you have suddenly come to the realisation that the above applies to you and you want to change your ways, I say to you, it is possible but it may take time. Roughly about the same time it has taken us to evolve from Hieroglyphics to the present.
Ms/Mr Callous: Once again I rely on that same drunken in ditch incident to show how a conversation with Ms/Mr Callous would unfold
Me: Actually, the only reason I ended up drink in a ditch is because that friend of yours who you so kindly hooked me up with spiked my drink and stole my bag and shoes. I apparently wandered around aimlessly and the ditch became my final resting place. That was until this morning when I was picked up by the police. As I was unable to identify myself, they have decided to keep me in custody. I have swapped my one phone call for an hour online chat time in the hope that I can also google me a good lawyer.
Not wanting to make too fine a point of this but science has come up with a medical term for an individual who lacks empathy: psychopath. Granted there are other elements that need to be established before making a diagnosis but I rarely spend any more time with those who fit into this category. I can not even offer a translation because I do not know what goes on in their mind.
Anyone in this category: I would love to offer you advice but who am I to contradict the voices in your head?
Oh well, this is just my take, I would hate to offend any of you smiley users. You have yourself a good week and remember this is only one person’s unqualified opinion
Thanks to Tempus Fugit for a list of WordPress smilies