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Truss and the emoticon

I was surprised to find a section on emoticons in Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots and Leaves, though I'm glad that she addressed them; I actually learned a few things.

I, like most students my age, have seen emoticons on the internet at one time or another; actually, I've seen an excess of them, because of Neverwinter Nights (NWN). Playing that game, you see people use them all the time (though at the server where I used to play, they started to go out of style just before I stopped playing). It's kind of funny, really, because people who use them are usually not taken seriously; they're the unofficial "baby talk" of the game on most servers.

What did I learn, if I have already been exposed to them so much?

I learned the meanings of a few new ones. For instance, I never knew that :~/ was to express a "mixed up" emotion, or that <:-) was meant to say "dunce". When I see smilies or other emoticons, I try to read it like I would read a real person's face, so I can usually pick out happy/sad/angry faces; on the other hand, it's hard to define what "mixed up" looks like on a person's face, so I never knew it had an emoticon standard.

What about you? Ever run into any wild and crazy emoticons that you couldn't decipher?

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Comments

^__^ I use emotes all the time, and (>^.^)-----( )(>x_x)> are all kirby emotes.

Though I do use a lot of babytalk with my girlfriend, even online or in the games we play =]

Granted pre-drawn emotes like that on aim or yahoo annoy the living h311 outta me.

I cannot stand emoticons. My friends use them excessively in their emails and, most of all, their IMs. I can't stand seeing that little yellow smiley face winking, sticking its tongue out, or doing something else at me. I'm not sure why, but they just bother me- a lot. Perhaps it's because I'm not a fan of "baby talk" (as you said Chris) or dumbing things down. (I don't even talk "baby talk" to babies...)

Yeah, there are emotional gestures for the characters in NWN (they're called "emotes"). You can make them dance, drink, read, sing, sit, lie down, etc. The only problems with emotes are that they tend to take a few seconds to initiate and they can't be done while typing. I guess it's just easier for folks to put their emotes in text format, instead.

Those icons are Kirby doing a little dance :P (Kirby is that little pink marshmallow-ish Nintendo character).

Aren't there emotional gestures that the avatars can make in NWN? It would seem that typing emoticons would spoil the fun.

Those icons... somebody using big pointy ears to dance The Macarena?

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