Emoticons—those short combinations of letters, numbers and punctuation marks that sort of resemble little faces if you look at them sideways—have crept over the Internet like an army of tiny pictographic soldiers.
When I was a student teacher, some of my students even used emoticons in their homework. This annoyed and perplexed me greatly. Apart from being childish and unprofessional, putting emoticons in hand-written assignments seemed pointless. I can’t imagine why my students made the effort to write out emoticons when they could have just drawn little faces.
Though I seldom use emoticons, I have nothing against them. They’re an interesting development of written English, and they can give informal writing a certain charm.
For the sake of Internet People everywhere, I’ve compiled (with a little help from Dave Barry) a list of useful emoticons.
Typewriter Monkey Task Force is proud to present…
The Official TMTF List of Eminently Practical Emoticons for Convenient, Everyday Usage!
: ) Happy person
: ( Sad person
: – ) Happy person with a nose
: – ( Sad person with a nose
: — ( Person who is sad because he has such a big nose
: / Frustrated person
: D Overjoyed person
. ( Person who ran with scissors
X D Amused person
<l : ) Gandalf the Grey
:’ ( Weeping person
: P Cheerful person
:V: ( Person with an alligator on her head
; ) Wry person
: o ) Clown
XO Person who is afraid of clowns
: o Slightly surprised person
8 O Very surprised person
: ) ? Captain Hook
: I Person who has eaten too much
: ) ~D Person about to drink a calming cup of Jasmine tea
: ^ ( Cyrano de Bergerac
O Internet People, it is now up to you to use these emoticons with creativity, discernment and wisdom.
Just don’t use any of them on homework assignments, all right?
What emoticons did I miss? What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!