I Hate Smilies

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.

An example:

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 :)

Translation: Bitch!

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.

An example:

Relying on the same drunken ditch conversation, Neanderthal is likely to respond to my admission as follows,

Neanderthal: ๐Ÿ˜ฏ โ— ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ˜†

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.

Ms/Mr Callous: ๐Ÿ˜•

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


  1. says

    :) :) :) :) Do what you will :) :)

    Yeah, yeah – there the Mr and Mrs. C’s of this world but what about people like me who want only to show that we are amused at what someone has written? Should we not use smilies? Dont you want us to be happy????

  2. says

    Oh, I was too busy getting on my high horse to say that this post is very funny. I laughed about at the descriptions of the people who use smilies. Damn! Now I cannot use one to show how amused I was!!

  3. Mich says

    I agree with Mshairi,

    Yet another good example of a useful technology that has been subverted to contribute to the downfall of society (along with txt msgs)… or perhaps we’re reading too much into this.

    Maybe there should be classes introduced on the national curriculum that teaches kids the responsible use of such things?


  4. says

    LOL! It’s clearly a phenomenon

    Me: Please help! I’ve just been shot twice, stabbed and hit by a car, and then stung by a swarm of bees, then been pooped on by a constipated dog!

    Nitwit: :)

    Translation: Get the **** away from me!!

  5. Nyakehu says

    I can only be smug and say that l hardly ever use those smilies though l have been encouraged in the past to use them by those who shall remain nameless. Don’t understand their value and if I knew where to find one l should be plonk one right here with a self-satisfied smirk.

  6. says

    Guilty as charged of the above sins – not all of them, but some of them *shamefully shaking head* – does that mean you dont like me anymore *sob*

    I think in our defense smilies have their place in modern communication – apart from me, of course it helps people say something in two keystrokes that would take a whole sentence to convey :(

  7. Ms K says

    LOL I shudder to think where I fall. The funny thing is, almost everyone uses them. Even you did, unless it was a cheeky sticking-tongue-out statement!

    I’m not even going to get into this. I’ll just laugh on the sidelines! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    OH and LOL @Keguro!!!!

  8. Mimz says

    Hello!! Finally you’re back. (i do realise tha you were back a couple of posts b4 this one I decided to comment on this). How r u. Every1’s cool. Miss you

  9. Mimz says

    After that message i totally forgot to write what i meant to write. i’ll have to say i don’t really have a side on this one. i mean if you know what each smiley means then what the problem. but also smilies do at times get annoying so you see i am 50/50. ๐Ÿ˜• :) ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  10. says

    RFLOL! That was too funny! You totally made my day eh “I hate them in that รขโ‚ฌล“guns donรขโ‚ฌโ„ขt kill people, people kill peopleรขโ‚ฌ? kind of way.” i enjoyed this post so much i cant even coherently string a comment…

  11. says

    so umm mshairi&mich would that be smiliequette or :)ette to teach people how how to use them? Oh iam going to make MJY add another category for smilie users who try to combine a smilie and a word!

  12. says

    As one of those people recently introduced to the fine art of smilies I would hate to imagine that they shall replace my paragraph in its entirety. They cheer up the page though, don’t you think?

  13. says

    hi, my name is adrian, and i use smilies.
    there, you have it! :-)
    but i think i only use three kinds of smilies: :-) :-( and ๐Ÿ˜‰
    i think that’s okay, especially if it doesn’t come on it’s own but is used to “add some emotion” to a written sentence.

  14. Udi says

    LOL. Waa, this post has made me cheka. I dont particulary hate people using similes, but I hate the similes that people have when they send text messages. I dont want to see a simile everytime u send me a text message. especially if u r sending me crap, and then ur name has a smiling face next to it. Mshindwe nyinyi wote.

  15. goatse says

    now that those new smilies have been made, you know the really really obnoxious ones that yell HELLO!! at you. I have stopped using several forums all-together, out of loss of respect when they added these evil animations. flash is the worst thing invented since GIF files, seriously.

  16. says

    Ati, I guess there are still some ppl out there that turn their head about 90ร‚ยฐ to the left to read a smily (on systems where there are no smiley images). Ama? ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. says

    Thanks for the sense in your blog. I can proudly say that I have never used them or put a colon next to a close brackets, neither do I intend to… such idiots!

  18. liam says

    First I had to deal with purile abbreviations like LOL and OMG, now common language has been defiled to the point where childish representations of non existent emotions are frivolously smattered throughout a sentence. I’m am surrounded by morons. I curse the day a bracket was mispaired with the proverbial semi-colon, an ironic play on words itself – how half-assed communication has become…

  19. Dr.JB-Uk says

    Mama you are so right on the nail. I enjoy the bilious use of smileys about as much as hitting myself in the face repeatedly with a house brick (I suspect) The new ones “Junki head smileys” (on account of thier cute liddle’ eyes lookin like theyre on PCP) Are just so badly done. Interesting to see on other sites how many are leaving sites with Smil-itus. I think we should boycot these sites and make sure they know why. Reason:Free radio like RadioIO for instance used to play 2hr sets with no ads. Ahhm man it used to be blisss, now they are ramming the ads in at a level just enough to anoy you into buying a free “sound pass”.
    Its only a matter of time before Smiley coke face will be reading you the headline news on the bbc, while his sister skag head smiley trys to sell you time share in gizmo gizmo. Smiley porno??Smiley.S.Thompson does Las Vegas. Is it a plane, nooo, hellooooo its super smiley. Ahh man, grab the brakes pleeez.(a note to the Archbishop smiley perhaps??)
    (and all you wanted was an e mail)!!. I havnt found a simple work around other than totally disable flash.. For the inexperianced: Right click on the stupid rude looking smiley. Select “setting” then look for a button marked “advanced” this will bring up a web page. You actually change how these smileys arrive on your pc by changing things on that web page (mad, eh) youll find the global privacy link/page. Adjust to always deny and exit. (NOTE: This will disable the less offensive use of (Flash)(this is the stuff the computer uses to display smiley type ads)(its a small prog) as well, so you may see blank places where there should have been small pics or ads.)
    You can reinstall flash later if you change your mind.(reload your page and you hope fully wont get any more “Hello” I also (in XP pro)disable “Play animations in web pages” and “play sounds in web pages” (I.Explorer/Tools/internet options/advanced)(dont forget to apply the changes)(apply button)
    I think its a shame because im not that advanced in Pcs. Im just a high end home user. But its obvious that most intermediate and all novice users will have to suffer by, default. I feel its a liberty on your privacy if you wanted to view a web page but cannot, or a least are forced to make an adjustment first, in order to do so. Its stupid!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh killlllllllll people killlllllllllllllllllllpeeeeeeeooooopleeeee!!!!!!!!!. Sorry, errr. (small pause for medication)…….yes,…..now. where where we.
    Thats it.
    My name is Dr JB.
    I come in Peace.
    But I am a smidgen annoyed about this here smiley malarkey.
    If anyone know of a Boycott orientated forum. Please post here. (sorry if you have and I have missed it.)
    In the words of the great smiley.
    Smile.until later.
    Ps.Thanks for creating real smiles Mama

  20. Dave says

    Instead of using a smiley to show you thought something was funny, why not just say “That was pretty funny”. I also hate people who say “LOL” and “LMFAO” and “ROFLOL”. How often in the real world do we somebody rolling on the floor with laughter?