• MennoMelange
  • Monday, March 06, 2006


    Ok, so I never actually claimed that this was a running blog. Running in the sense of I never talk about anything else. Today will change that. I feel like I have a lot to say that has nothing to do with this weekends 20k.
    One of my workmate's blogs Had some decent rant-age going on, and I thought I'd chime in on some things that kinda bug me. Or at least one thing, anyway. I'll say in broad strokes that text message lingo bugs me, (even though I have a soft spot for H4x0r 7334N355) but even more serious than that is emoticons. My reasons for not liking emoticons are these: they are annoying, they dont do what they are supposed to, and advertisers (and viruses) love them.
    Annoying: The simple colon bracket, when left in text form is only really annoying when people use them in asides (when people go on a tangent in the middle of a sentance) and they put them at the end of the aside. This is only a little annoying. But it still is annoying. The yellow happyface emoticons are a whole new breed of annoying. For starters, they are supposed to be part of the text, but often are way bigger than the text, creating a gap between lines that shouldnt be there. Plus, the whole 'yellow happy face' theme that pervades them. Like, I want a 'middle finger' emoticon, but what I have is an angry 'yellow happy face' (which itself is a disembodied head) with a disembodied mickey mouse glove stuck to its chin, giving the finger.
    Poor Performance. I guess the idea of the emoticon is to add emotion to text. So if you are angry, you can put an angry face next to the text you are writing. Of course, people dont use it like this. Often what does happen is a smiley (some variation on colon bracket) gets put at the end of a joke. That would be ok if that was always the case, but it isnt. smileys get put all over the place. So you cant really tell if they are joking or not. Plus, if we really wanted to add emotion or 'body language' or inflection to our text, we'd at least need a sarcasm emoticon. But what does that look like? There is no good way to picture sarcasm. Especially not in the yellow happy face paradigm.
    The most annoying part about emoticons is that they are the frequent subject of all sorts of pop-up ads and banner ads. Which is probably the most annoying form of advertisement possible. And have you ever clicked on one of these by mistake? The way you can tell if you've clicked on one is that your virus checker starts going nuts.

    What touched this off? Well I was reading questionable content, and I saw one of the characters drinking out of a mug with an emoticon on it. It was a 'sticking the tounge out' emoticon. I kinda thought that was nice... it was a text emoticon. I kinda liked it. But then I thought... colon pee. That emoticon is a colon, and then a pee. Colon pee. That doesnt sound like a good fun thing.


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