Tag Archives: texts

What’s Your Favorite Emoji?

What’s Your favorite emoji?

At a holiday gathering, I asked family members if they ever have a hard time finding the right emoji.

They all said no, and looked at me as if I were crazy. But I do find emojis lacking at times.

I use these little faces and pictures quite often in texts and emails. They’re fun, a quick way to add a smile to the communication. Or a teary eye, or a thoughtful frown. I use the smiley more often than anything. A smile at the end of a text can mean I like you, I’m happy, etc. I sometimes substitute a smile emoji for an exclamation point, which I am inclined to overuse.

Sometimes I just can’t find the appropriate emoji. I scan through, but I don’t find an emoji conveying frustration, hope, overwhelmed-ness, joy, or “Ick.” On the other hand, there are some that I never use, because I just don’t like them—the red devil, for example.

And there are quite a few emojis that I don’t understand. There’s one with a big smile and a tear in one eye, another with a big smile and tears coming out of both eyes. Are they the same, to different degrees? Or is the first one happy-sad, the second laughing till you cry? And what about the one with two blue paths going down the face; what are those paths?

I rarely use the ones with a big mouthful of teeth—too aggressive. I don’t know whether they’re super-friendly or friendly-angry.

Sometimes an emoji really works for me. If I’m confused, I like the upside-down face. If I’m excited, I can use a happy smile and a party favor and a woman dancing flamenco. Other times, I can’t find an emoji that expresses the feeling I want to convey. Then it’s time for the last resort–words.

Do you have a favorite emoji? Or other thoughts on emojis? I’d love to hear them.

I’ve Got to Rein in My Punctuation!

punctuation : seamless background with punctuation marks Illustration

Lately I’ve realized how much I use exclamation points, especially in texts, but also in emails and letters. (Yes, I actually wrote a letter yesterday, by hand, with a pen.) I was tempted to put an exclamation point at the end of that statement, but as I said, I’m trying to rein it in. They don’t mean as much when you use them at the end of every other sentence.

My daughter recently pointed out that we both use a lot of them in our texts. She said that when she doesn’t use exclamation marks, her texts seem angry or bored. I knew what she meant. I then tried to write a few with just periods. It was hard!

As I’ve been writing this, I’ve noticed that I’m avoiding not only exclamations, but also dashes. They are another of my punctuation addictions that have to be modified, or curtailed, or abstained from completely. Dashes somehow have become indispensable to me, and it actually hurts, right now, not to use them. This piece would be peppered with dashes if I were not trying consciously to avoid them.

It’s interesting, the way new means of communication are changing our ways of communicating. Besides using btw, lol, and omg, I find, for example, that I now use ellipses more than I ever have, because ending a thread with a period seems rude and abrupt. Ellipses are softer; they seem to indicate a gentler goodbye. We don’t really have words or grammatical structures in English that do this, although maybe in the time of Jane Austen, of more leisurely letter-writing, they did. I’m thinking of long, periodic sentences expressing polite goodbyes along with tender sentiments. Am I wrong?

I am pretty sure that in Korean, which I have studied, albeit haphazardly, there is a structure that allows for a less stark departing comment.

Another thing I use all the time is parentheses. They come in so handy as a way of fencing in digressions, and I have a lot of those.

My writing has become too casual. What if I just went back to commas, periods, and question marks?  It’s an interesting exercise, to try to write without one’s habitual punctuation excesses. I can feel myself taking alternative routes to achieving the same, or similar effects.

I also have a consistent habit of using semicolons, which is annoying to some people. At least, so far, I haven’t taken up the habit of overusing caps and bold. But—as has been explained above—I am not perfect (and never will be)! Bye for now. . . .