Saturday, October 17, 2009

Say no to smilies

I've recently changed my email account to a Googlemail account. Not only has this given me a more cumbersome address but it has put temptation in my path in the form of that execrable threat to good communication - the smiley! Writing a message to a friend the other day I was sorely tempted to make my meaning clearer with the use of a smiley face or one of those 'whatever' faces. As my finger lingered over the inane smiling face, something more noble within me cried out 'No, stay your hand!'.

Yes gentle reader, would Charles Dickens have resorted to the angry one to express Magwitch's frustration with Pip in the graveyard? Would Oscar Wilde have inserted a couple of 'whatevers' in 'The Importance of Being Earnest' to let his readers know that a witty bit was coming up? Would George Eliot have used the confused one in 'Middlemarch' when Dorothea Brooke discussed the finer points of religious philosophy with Mr Casaubon? Of course not and not just because they hadn't been invented. No, they used the written word with such intelligence and subtlety that there was no need for buffoonish smiley faces inserted here, there and everywhere.

So I moved away from the emoticons and did this instead. :-) Much better!

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