Recently, The New York Times ran a story on emoticons and their place in professional correspondence. On the pro-emoticon side, busy marketers and executives made the case for smiley faces in the work place, saying that a well-placed emoticon can offset sarcasm and brevity in a digital world where tone is never an easy thing to decipher. On the anti-emoticon side, writers and other word professionals are deeply offended by their widespread use and see them as part of the degradation of society. Some critics go so far as to write off anyone who uses emoticons or “textspeak” (LOL, OMG) in correspondence, defriending them on Facebook and unfollowing them on Twitter.
While I’ve been known to throw in a smiley face every now and then (shamefully, I must say), I can see where these stalwart word defenders are coming from. I recognize that everyone is busy and that “u” is easier to type than “you,” but at what point are you bastardizing the English language just to save a second or two? Language is what sets us apart from animals. The least we can do is respect it!
Posted by Amelia