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Comments on Monday 19 January 2004:
I'm sure we all know how smileys are an unnecessary and possibly damaging extension to the written language - that conveying emotion vaguely through pictograms is less compelling and less evocative than it would be to encompass the emotion in the words you use. Or so I thought! But these days one can get 2000 smileys free! And oh boy, are they the most useful smileys you can possibly imagine. Look at them!
2000 free smileys! Oh boy! I cannot resist their fiery charms!
Note - the 'click here' aspect of the ad won't actually work, because I don't want people to start actually using these monsters.

Anyway, as I was saying - no more will we have to painstakingly compose letters such as the following, when smileys can encompass all.
My darling levitating frog,

After drinking an infinite quantity of beer unfeasibly quickly, my 'statue of liberty' felt rather queasy - I imagine it even turned green. I was so red and angry and gritting my teeth that I couldn't help but fly a small spaceship only large enough for my head straight to my intermittently grinning pimp, where I repeatedly fired my gun that squirts flames or maybe an X on a stick such that the back of its handle disappears.

My goodness, did he turn green and rocking back and forth when I delicately and repeatedly cupped his buttocks in my hands. Oh how I combed my hair into a point or possibly wore a black party hat while bouncing up and down as my teeth grow and shrink!

By now you're probably thinking "how's the baby?" - well, as ever, its head closely resembles a potato and its mouth can't decide whether to be in the proper place or somewhat skewed towards its left side. The devil with it, I say!

I'll tell you next time about the wobbling ghost and alien hitchhiker, I promise. Until then, I magically slice my top-hat out through the side of my head to you!

Cheers,
Your googly-eyed severed unusually round head.

PS. Argh, I'm having a stroke.
[02:18]

Gecko
Hilarious. Yes, smilies are incredibly annoying. It's so much clearer to see a frowning head floating in the middle of my email than to read that whoever wrote to me is upset and why they are upset. I love trying to figure out why there is a picture of a rose following certain comments. And of course, all of those "free smilies" are so very useful.

AttackOfTheSpam
Gasp! You forgot the flasher? How COULD you? And the little brown uncertain man! Poor little brown uncertain man; he feels unwanted and depressed. He will now take lots of Prozac and eventually overdose and die. Then you will party with the pimp and two alcoholic smileys, eventually drowning your sorrows at having killed the poor little brown uncertain man.

I'm terribly sorry. That was random. Hormones are such odd little buggers.

Phil
I love that as I too share your pedantry when it comes to use of language. Do you like me tut at poor grammar in graffiti and inarticulate muggers. 'gis your dosh'

Berta
What is worse than that little angry face for an e-mail is when you get a whole string of them, with the occasional leet between. If people are going to revert to pictograms, we might as well use hieroglyphics; at least they were rather attractive and unlikely to cause seizures.

Digi
It's hard to say this without seeming insulting, even when adding the following phrase; I don't mean to be insulting, but Phil, if you're writting things advocating the proper use of written-english, you should probably have question marks at the end of questions, and perhaps the occasional comma. It'll give your point more credibility.

On the other hand, it could be extremely subtle post-modern irony, in which case the joke's on me - the twat who responded. I've had worse things on me than jokes. Never a curse though.

redTEETH
Well played. Hat.

RavenBlack
Spam - no, I didn't forget either of them. The 'flasher' doesn't look like they're flashing to me, since the buttocks remain visible the whole time. That's the clasping of buttocks with hands. And the 'uncertain' one is having a stroke.

C. Copperpot
I concur, those smileys a waste of time. But the old-fashioned text smileys are a great way to show emotion in a hurry (because now we're all in a hurry, don't ask)! :D

AttackOfTheSpam
Ah! Terribly sorry. I suppose things get lost in translation from time to time.

RavenBlack
Evidently the smileys don't render the full text obsolete after all, since you wouldn't have realised I meant "argh, I'm having a stroke" if I'd used the smiley, and so the ambulance would never have arrived.

Sam
Have you seen the vast range they have over at h2g2? Ah well. William Gibson had the right idea. In my experience they never get used for their intended purposes....

Qwertyphobia
I thought they were bad enough at first, then realised I was missing the full horror of animation. Browsing the web through the rose-tinted spectacles of disabled gif animations is an experience not to be taken for granted.

Note to Digi: if you'd littered your post with smileys it would have been obvious that no insult was intended. See, they do have a purpose :)

arjuna
oh, my belly hurts. thanks for the wicked good laugh.
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