Reub's journey

11 February 2015

Smiley faces

The first time I read :) I thought it was a typo; it took weeks before I figured it out (but that was years ago when of course I was much dumber than I am now.) This use of punctuation has become ubiquitous. While out on a dog walk I once found a smiley face fungus, making me wonder if even Mother Nature was getting into the emoticon business.


 I have mixed feelings about emoticons. It's a fascinating move from written language back to hieroglyphics and pictographs. On the other hand, do we really need smiley faces to show our intent? Maybe so. I kind of like using punctuation marks creatively.


The Swedish retailing giant Ikea has just released its own set of downloadable emoticons. I find them odd (what's that thing in the middle of the bottom row...and is that an allen wrench in the top row?) 



Ikea claims that its emoticons help in building relationships, light-heartedly recommending that couples employ them to help communicate. The main reason to watch this video, though, is to hear the right way of pronouncing "Ikea." You've been saying it wrong all this time.


Finally, in honor of Abe Lincoln's birthday: did you know that he may be the father of the emoticon?


See it? There is a wink right after "applause and laughter" on line 6. Seriously! You can read more about this controversial little tidbit right here.

 Hey... I just learned how to do "Abe Lincoln."

==|:-)>


30 comments:

  1. laughing at the ikea pronunciation - yup, had it all wrong. now, the gent's accent brought back memories of working with a swedish pilot many moons ago. she was a trip!

    very cool 'abe'. ;)

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    1. It is a great accent! Reminded me of the Muppets' Swedish chef!

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  2. Love the Lincoln find.. and the way you see the world around you. Your fungal smiley is wonderful. The pink and orange thing might be a bench.. or beach chair?

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    1. A beach chair. Of course. I saw it as a headless animal. It is probably an Ikea beach chair.

      I keep looking for faces in mushrooms after finding that one, but alas, no luck so far.

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  3. Looks like we have no choice except to adopt emoticons. Everyone else is using them-so join the band wagon :) Only sometimes we can end up in disaster by using the wrong emoticon at an inappropriate situation This can spell disaster. :(

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    1. Yes, you must be sure to choose the correct parentheses!

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  4. I am to totally lost in the world of emoticons. People send them and I have no idea what they are trying to communicate. Abe Lincoln? If you say so.

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    1. Lie down as if taking a nap. Look at the text sideways. ==| becomes Abe's top hat, : are his eyes, then the nose, mouth and beard. You could make him frown if you used (
      And that's all there is to it. :)

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  5. Pretty funny,I don't use them, but love how Abe started it all

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    1. Yeah I got a kick out of that article too. I used to set type, and it is almost convincing.

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  6. Emoticons are the only way we can be sure of an emotion. It is hard to be funny when typing and people cannot see your face. The just think you are being snarky.

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    1. I do think emoticons can help with electronic communications. A smiley face suggests a friendly demeanor in text that may read otherwise. This exact thing was referenced at a memorial service I recently attended. The deceased had been a tireless critic of policy & wrote detailed corrections to board members on just about everything. It was hard to take...UNTIL she began including smiley faces. That eased the tension.

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  7. I love your Abe Lincoln emoticon! And that smiley face mushrooms was a nice find! :)

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    1. I keep looking for more personable mushrooms. They must be out there.

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  8. Ha, good old Abe was ahead of his time. I still don't know what a lot of symbols and abbreviations mean. Sometimes I google them to figure it out.

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    1. Me too. John. Somewhere around here we have a tiny reference book that was meant to be a joke, but I've actually used it.
      Did you know that :-* means "kiss?"

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  9. very cool Lincoln. I don't use emoticons. if I'm unsure how my words will be interpreted then I use more words. well, I've started using the <3 for heart but only rarely. very interesting thought there about regressing to pictographs and hieroglyphics. I never thought of it that way.

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    1. Some people over-use emoticons & it can be annoying. I think the best thing is to always re-read one's message, checking for tone, then re-word it if there is room for misinterpretation.

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  10. Yes, I have been pronouncing Ikea all wrong...I love the smiley face fungi, great find.. Have a happy day...☺

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    1. Eileen, if we start pronouncing it right, people will smirk! I think I'll still say it the old way.

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    2. Wait...how did you do that smiley face?

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  11. i kinda' like all the smiley faces....the video is hysterical!! there are a few things i am saying wrong ;) (i couldn't resist!!!!!)

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    1. Haha Debbie! Hard to believe, but I get a few things wrong myself.

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  12. I'm still smiling at the smiling mushroom! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  13. I prefer a smiley to lol. I use winkies and sad faces too from time to time. Mostly, for me, they help add intent to pithy comments.

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    1. I think that about sums it up for me, too, AC. They offer something more than mere punctuation.

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  14. I don't think I could ever say IKEA any other way but the way I've been saying it. It's like when someone told me the right way to pronounce endive and Nabokov. Well, actually, I just pronounced those in my head the way I'm supposed to. The one I *really* don't think I can ever change is niche. I still got too much Texas in me to say neesh instead of nitch. :)

    (Hey, smiley face!)

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    1. Haha! I'm not changing the way I say IKEA either! I would feel like an ass saying it the right way. That goes for Nabokov and endive too!

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  15. Those cheeseheads are amazing people. I do love their curds.....:)

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