Jargon Busting No. 14 – Emoticons

Some love them 🙂 

Some hate them 😦

They are emoticons. Emoticons are representation of facial expressions, using symbols and letters on your keyboard.  As mobile phone texting became popular users developed short cuts to letting people know how you were feeling in their message using the least number of characters. Characters mean more typing and more of the screen space used. And now in the age of Twitter emoticons help provide tweets of no more that 140 characters with some character of their own (sorry I couldn’t resist the obvious pun). If ever you have trouble working out what an emoticon is try turning your head to the left and emoticons are usually a representation but horizontal rather than vertical. 

Emoticons help give your emails, text messages and online posts tone. It can be hard for the reader of a text messages or emails to understand any jokes or sarcasm there might be, or might not be, in the message. 

But remember Dear Reader that use of emoticons is something to be considered very carefully. Poor use of emoticons can make you look like an emotional teenage girl, which might not be the look you are going for.  Emoticons do not belong in formal business emails. Emoticons do not belong in actual conversation for example ‘I’m having a great day, smiley face’. 

Now that computers and the internet have become more clever and they often turn emoticons into little symbols, but only very common emoticons such as ‘smiley face’ which is a : and a ) together :).

So next time you are sending a text or an email and want someone to know that you are happy or sad or maybe feeling something else, try the careful use of an emoticon. Here are a few examples:

smiley face   🙂 is a : and )

winking face 😉 is a ; and )

sad face 😦 is a : and (

sticking tongue out 😛 is a : and P

confused :/

heart/love ❤

If you want to learn more about emoticons just do a little internet searching and find examples that say what you want to say but remember be careful because you don’t want to look like a *<:o) (a clown) 🙂

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