by Kare Grams
What's missing from an online social intercourse?
Why a face, of course! How can you really talk to someone without being able to throw them a "look," or soften a tease with a little grin? Well, I have to admit it-I don't really know. And that's okay, because I don't have to. My keyboard is full of attitude, affection and sentiment! It comes complete with a lexicon of...
Smiley's! Some of my *favorite* things!
That's right-faces, also known as pictograms, or emoticons. Whatever you want to call them, I call them indispensable... and use them regularly to fit my mood.
But first, for those of you new to online communications (or those who just hang out in "serious" places where one would never think of saying Pphhhtttttttt!!) Let me let you in on a few online conventions and tips.
Tip number one is: DON'T SHOUT!!
IF YOU SEND A MESSAGE LIKE THIS YOU WILL LIKELY BE TORCHED TO A SMOLDERING PILE OF ASH... OR AT THE VERY LEAST TOLD to stop yelling. *Whew!* sounds better already. It's a phenomenon I have queried the experts on and studied for several years now. . . *Why* on earth reasonable people who would never think of punching their "Caps Lock" to write a letter or report would decide to type in all caps is beyond me; but it happens all the time with neophytes-generally only once.
Now that you've got your caps off, here's a few other tips... since we can't italicize or bold across telecommunication lines (now *when* are the techies going to handle that?), in order to denote italics we put *asterisks* around words. Some people use an _underline_ for italics, which can also be interpreted as _bold_.
And there we have a key: Interpretation. Like any expression, you have to take these things in context. Is someone typing a :-* saying "Opps!" (and covering their mouth with their hand) or blowing you a kiss?
You say, "Say what? How on earth is colon/dash/asterisk either of the above?!"
On to the next tip (one near and dear to chiropractors over the land): Tilt your head, waaaay to the left. Now if you lay on your side facing that 'colon/dash/asterisk' with an open mind, can you see the two eyes, the nose and the, uh... kiss?
Let's start a bit more basic. Ready now? Okay, tilt your head to the left and I *know* you'll recognize the fundamental :-) -smile. If you're not in the mood for faces, you can just put a <g>, meaning grin, or a <BG>, big grin. :-( is a sad face of course, and also common is a >:-( frown, :-D is laughing, and is also denoted in letters as LOL (laughing out loud). I notice perfectly sane people get online and tend to ROFL (Roll On the Floor Laughing) more often, I bet, than they do in their corporeal settings. Seems to be quite a bit of gd&r (grinning, ducking and running) and often you'll see it done GD&RVVF! (Very, Very Fast!)-or in some cases a person may GD&RLH (Grin, Duck and Run Like Heck).
Oh but, we were covering smileys, weren't we? Okay, just let me give you a couple other abbreviations I can't live without: <ggg> is giggling, <GGG> is laughing, <CCC!> is clapping & PITA is Pain in the A** (Ankle?). Oh, & BTW is By The Way. Also handy are BFN-Bye For Now, IMHO-In My Humble Opinion, OTL-Out To Lunch, PTB-Powers That Be, BTSOOM-Beats The S**t Out Of Me & TMALSS-To Make A Long Story Short, which I rarely do, but since I'm running out of space, I'll do the best I can...
Here we have a :) midget smile and a variation of a midget smiley :> . Sometimes a comment is :/) not funny, and other times it calls for a little ;-) wink (or wink and a smile). Put :-C if you're incredulous (Unbelieving-jaw dropped), :-r Bleahhh (sticking tongue out) when grossed out and <:-O (Eeek!) if you see a mouse.
Can't do without :-o 'Oh, Nooooooo!', :-J tongue-in-cheek comments, and :-! Foot in mouth-as well as JB Whitwell, the Adobe and DTP Forum wiz/sysop, who has a practically 8 (infinite) collection of these & has shared them with me during many a late night chat. [ -Thanks JB! :* ]
Look for more smileys & abbreviations to jazz-up your online communications coming in WWWiz. Until then...Smile!
% :) Kare % aka: Skare!