:( no smileys...well sometimes
First off, thank you Stephenson for adding that last blurb about the tone and reason of the last article you wrote about the miss-use of smileys. It's not that the"Smiley's People" article offended or enraged me, but I do feel like what was said at the bottom of the page made a lot more sense to me than the first article.
Although I do give Fahlman credit/props for inventing the smiley, I think that it has been taken to a different level than what it was originally used for. Writers definitely still use it to indicate humor or irony but it has also branched out to critical sarcasm, flirting, or just simply- over use of it. I'm sure this guy had no idea it would come to what it is today and in a way I find it useful sometimes and I'm sure if he hadn't created the original emoitcon on that special date, someone else would have thought of soon after.
So like I said, I do enjoy using smileys sometimes like in an email to a family member or friend, in texting or when writing small notes online/on the web. But! I do not think they should be used in books, magazines, newspapers, internet articles, academic papers, etc. Stephen mentioned something that I totally agree with:
"if you apply it to the topic of smileys, you arrive at the conclusion that smiley users are lazy writers who could get along just fine without smileys if only they took the trouble to revise and edit their work a little bit, to make the meaning clearer"
I know he was making this point in his first argument, but this is what I thought when I was reading Fahlman's article about the invention of smileys. Smileys actually do seem kind of lazy. If you look at great writers from the past, even before the smiley was invented, you can usually determine their tone in the way they choose their words or in the order they put them, or even in the context in which they are included. It makes you think as a reader and maybe even go back and re-read a sentence or two to really get the feel for the author's emotions they are trying to put across. By inserting a smiley here or there, its obvious how someone feels. (which is why they are good for quick emails or texts... even blogs)
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional smiley that lets me know my responder is happy or content and if I'm not making myself clear I usually send one right back. I just think that over use of smiley faces and emoticons can take away from the skills of writing.