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Using Symbols to Show Emotion in Text

May 13, 2008
Smileys are used frequently to add emotion to the text we write today. Making a colon with a capital D : D makes a big smile to emphasis how we feel about the subject we are expressing. Semicolons are used for a wink ; and left parentheses for a frown ( or right parentheses for a smile ).

The difference between emoticons and smileys is that emoticons are not made of text symbols but are instead little pictures that express emotions. You can find them at smiley Central.

These symbolic expressions have risen to prominence thanks to rise of text messaging, not just on cell phones, but also through instant messaging or message board posts. The key requirement for the acceptance of smileys is that the form of communication is written and informal.

Since the rise of the internet and wireless digital telecommunication these forms of communication have taken prominence and often youth were the first to integrate these forms of communication in their lives. It is rare to find youth today who are ignorant of the usage and meaning of smileys.

While the early use of smileys expressed only happiness and sadness, the variety of symbols has increased to now be able to show disbelief, anger, surprise and playfulness as well.

The use of these expressions seems to disproportionately favored by females rather than males. The cause for this may be that females feel more comfortably expressing emotions, or perhaps they are more familiar with nuanced telecommunication techniques,

Some have criticized the use of these symbols as detrimental to the depth of human communication, but these don't address the obvious benefits of use. These benefits include faster communication, the allowance of intimate text messages with little effort.

Smileys have all been figured out and do not have the range of emotions that emoticons can express. The future of these symbols seem to have hit a plateau and the future or more nuanced symbols would require a wider range of symbols for longer text messages.
About the Author
If you want your own emoticons , or want to share your thoughts on smiley , just go to SmileySmileySmiley.com. You will be glad you did.
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