|So, as eager readers of the blog no doubt know by now, mere minutes ago I typed my first unironic emoticon: <3. This, my sources tell me, means "heart," sideways. Can there be a more emotive emoticon? I think not. In fact, I am naming my next emo band "Less than Three" as a knowing semicolon and wry close parentheses to my IMing bretheren.|
Now, I know that complaining about emoticons is totally 1999. So I'm not complaining. Far from it: I used one (in fact, that colon seven words back is actually a small man peeping sideways from behind "it," an emoticon neatly expressing my feeling of cautious optimism about using emoticons).
I'm bringing all this up because I just had an email exchange with a well-respected mid-career drama scholar: a serious guy, I think, whose work I really like and who continues to publish good stuff. HE EMOTICONED ME. Dude hit me with a wink! Like so:
As the kids say, wtf? I understand that email can seem like a toneless medium at times, but honestly, it's no more or less toneless than regular letter writing. I find myself gearing up for a rant, and I'm not a crank (ha!), so I'll stop here. But, really... this guy is like 45 years old. I expect seven exclamation points and plenty of ha has from sophomores. It's how they talk, and I can deal with that. But can't the rest of us just stick to the "word-based" version of written communication? With, like, adverbs?
Or am I going to have to get all [%:]?