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Off topic: Why your :-) makes me :-( Anti-emoticon campaign launch :-O
Thread poster: texjax DDS PhD

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:57
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Apr 12, 2007

I found the following article quite funny, considering that in our community we use (abuse?) those allegedly cute little faces more than often…and I would like to know whom of you will be willing to join “the-probably quixotic-campaign” and your reasons.
I think I won’t.. (especially since it took me a lifetime to teach to my smiley to laugh like that!)


"You're an adult. Quit it with the smiley faces.
[..]
"I assume you lack the emotional intelligence to infer my attitude from mere words," the little buggers seem to say, "so I will help you with a device comprehensible to two-year-olds." Finally, I shudder whenever I see them -- as I increasingly do -- used in business correspondence. What does it say about a company when employees pepper their e-mail with the sort of juvenile glyphs common in MySpace chats? "This is to inform you that we have not yet received the order expected last week. >:-O" "To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Fenderbender played no role in the backdating of options. 0: -)" If this nonsense is going on in your business, you should stamp it out pronto.[...]"

http://money.aol.com/inc/general/canvas3/_a/the-office-i-am-not-/20070411133909990001

PS. Sorry guys, but due to the site policy, that I respect, I had to edit my posting. The whole article is worth reading, and it is available at the above link. I hope you will enjoy.

[Edited at 2007-04-12 20:39]


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:57
German to English
+ ...
:-) Apr 12, 2007

Better than a thousand words!

[Edited at 2007-04-12 19:37]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:57
Member
English to French
I can relate to that Apr 12, 2007

But I think it is really a lost cause and I don't wish to enroll.
I have enough fingers in my right hand to count how many times I used 3 caracters to make up a horizontal face. And I always felt awkward after that. For days, sometimes.

Being an advocate of the "live and let live" policy, I don't mind people using them, just as I don't mind SMS spelling (as long as I can understand) or cars fitted with 1500W 16-speaker audio systems (provided that they're not mine, and not turned on).
But the whole idea behind smileys makes me uncomfortable. Could this awkward feeling be related to.... giving in to laziness? Like, if I can't write a proper sentence to get a message across, the smiley will do it for me.

However I do use animated smileys (Skype type) because I find them funny and alive, as opposed to the 3 motionless boring caracters usually found in emails.

By the way, although I am not a fan of abbreviated words either, such as sthg, mgmt, I do enjoy acronyms such as AFAIK, IMHO, IDBC or IT, WMD or FYROM. There must be a correlation between using smileys and using abbreviated words...

Cheerio,
Philippe


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Lucy-Jane Michel  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:57
French to English
+ ...
LOL Apr 13, 2007

I wonder how many of these smileys and abbreviations are actually used honestly? IMHO and LOL are my pet hates - how many of us can actually say that we only ever use LOL when we really ARE laughing out loud and have never typed it without even a hint of a smile? And I'm always on my guard when I see 'IMHO' - how many people have you heard actually SAY 'in my humble opinion' in everyday conversation and really mean it?!

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:57
Italian to English
+ ...
They have their place... Apr 13, 2007

Fine in informal chit chat, but an absolute no-no in a formal business context.

So, personally, I'd be happy using them in an email to friends, might use them occasionally in an email to a client with whom I have a long-standing and more personal relationship, and would never use them with newer clients or those where we have a more formal relationship.


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:57
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Emoticons in a car (the new Fiat 500) Apr 13, 2007

Just found in today's newspaper, La Repubblica online,
see http://tinyurl.com/ytccvv
(the article is in Italian, click on the link FOTO for more pictures)


I can only say...
Gianfranco




[Edited at 2007-04-13 12:03]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:57
Spanish to English
+ ...
See their usefulness Apr 13, 2007

Personally, I’m not a big user of emoticons but I do see their usefulness. It would be easy to misunderstand certain sentences or the finer shades of meaning of certain linguistic structures of the various languages used on a multilingual site like this one. An occasional smiley lets you know that the author isn’t trying to offend anyone. I believe emoticons are like a marriage between verbal and non-verbal behaviour. They make written language more like spoken language. Words depend on a context, but written words are often times lacking in social context. We all know how easy it is to interpret words in various ways. Emoticons give an emotional or behavioural context where it might otherwise be missing or where long, drawn out explanations would be needed to express what can be easily expressed with a simple pictorial expression.

As for whether to use emoticons or not, and in what context, I also agree wholeheartedly with Marie-Helene Hayles. I would personally find it hard to take seriously any formal letter that contained emoticons. It would immediately be tossed into the “circular file” : )


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
In the beginning I hated them Apr 13, 2007

When these little faces all of a sudden (to me at least) showed up everywhere, I almost hated them. I always wondered how grown up could use these silly pictures or even only the combinations of punctuation marks in posts, chats and even official emails. But after my internship in a company where everybody used them, I also started to like them, and now, they are like some foreign words for me - they sometimes just express what I mean in the shortest, but still most effective way.
Have a nice weekend everybody

Inga


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:57
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes, totally agree :=) Apr 14, 2007

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

Better than a thousand words!




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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:57
English to French
+ ...
AFAIK, IMHO, LMAO and the like Apr 15, 2007

While I agree that using smilies in a business setting is a no-no, I don't see anything wrong with using them otherwise - as long as they are not being abused. They help to get messages across. When you post in a forum such as this one, it helps sometimes to let the person know you have no hard feelings even though you disagree with them completely. When you don't see the face nor hear the voice of the person you are talking to, these little guys can help bridge some rather annoying gaps.

What I personally don't get are all those acronyms. Most of the time, they only stand witness to people's lazyness to type, and they are often hard to understand, because unlike smilies, they are not the least visual, and at the rate new ones are "invented", it is impossible to know the meaning of all of them. To me, they are really frustrating to read...


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some comments on smileys Apr 15, 2007

texjax DDS PhD quoted an article:
"I assume you lack the emotional intelligence to infer my attitude from mere words," the little buggers seem to say, "so I will help you with a device comprehensible to two-year-olds."


Said by someone who has never misunderstood anything written in e-mail or on the web -- or who has never realised that they had misunderstood.

Finally, I shudder whenever I see them -- as I increasingly do -- used in business correspondence.


A valid point. I never use a smiley in business correspondence unless I have built up a reasonable rapport with the recipient, and even then I use it only once per e-mail and only once a month.

For personal correspondence or posting on the web, smileys are good. But simple smilies are better.

And programs that automatically turn smileys into real yellow icons (like Proz.com does, sorry), are a real pain IMO because they make the smiley too obvious. A smiley should stand out as much as a fullstop or a comma does.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
IANAL, FWIW, BTW Apr 15, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
What I personally don't get are all those acronyms. Most of the time, they only stand witness to people's lazyness to type...


True, but some things need to be said even though you don't want to waste time saying it. For example, if I write IMO or IMHO I do it because I don't have time to write "in my humble opinion", also because my opinion isn't humble even though I might add the "H". And starting off a post or ending it off by saying "IANAL" is a lot more friendly to the eye, IMO, than starting off by saying "I am not a lawyer".


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:57
English to French
+ ...
Yes, but if you didn't spell it out... Apr 15, 2007

Samuel, if you hadn't spelled out IANAL, I would never have guessed what it means. In fact, if you read it out loud, it sounds rather funny and makes you wonder about the person who wrote it.

What I don't like is that, if this keeps taking over, we may end up with posts that look like:

*********************************************
BTW, AFAIK, LMAO because IANAL is perfectly acceptable.
*********************************************

Hmmm... Sounds a little outlandish to me...

[Edited at 2007-04-15 17:48]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:57
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
You are not alone Apr 17, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
Samuel, if you hadn't spelled out IANAL, I would never have guessed what it means.


You are not alone, Viktoria. It took me 4 years before I had sufficient interest to go look it up and figure out what it means. I think as e-mail users we become used to such abbreviations and read over them without it interfering with our reading because we instinctively recognise them as abbreviated speechisms which usually have little value.

Another abbrevation which I had only recently discovered the meaning of, in spite of having seen it quite often for many years, is HTH. I didn't know what it stood for, but having seen it in a certain context for so long I had had a vague idea of what it probably meant, and when I finally looked it up, I wasn't too far off either.


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