In Defense of Emoticons, Asterisks, and Exclamation Points!!!

Have you ever been in a conversation and found yourself blurting out what you think is a funny joke only to be met with a blank expression?

Imagine writing a comment using sardonic wit. The writer of the post can be left wondering what the hell you meant by that and may slap their laptop shut, storm out of their study, then sit back down and Unfollow you!

Insert smiley face 🙂 and voila! Sarcasm bursts through the words and the writer giggles along with the commenter.

When I first started blogging around two years ago, it took me a while to get the hang of commenting. At first, I went into hyperdrive and left lame, “Great post!” comments everywhere.

Then I slowed down and read other reader’s comments. Some chose eloquent words. Others related to the content of the post and either responded emotionally or revealed something about themselves.  A few were hysterically funny. Most used different ways to express their emotion.

I look forward to reading what you think of my words. Sometimes comments make me laugh. Others are so sweet, they are like precious gifts, so I copy them to a saved file. Once in a while, I scratch my head and wonder.

To help you through the emotional minefield of commenting, I came up with:

Susie’s Surefire Glossary to Conveying Emotion:

Emoticons – Many comments contain the smiley face. 🙂 It has always reminded me of Walmart, so it took a while for the association to fade. Now I LOVE the round yellow faces! They are like happy little bubbles of joy, unless they are unhappy faces. 😦

Asterisks – Many use them for sound effects. **clink**, **crash**, **gulp**, **giggle**. These fun additions add another dimension to the comment and tickle my funny bone.

Exclamation Points – Okay. I’ll admit it. I am an exclamation point junkie! When wanting to convey my big goofy grin, I use them like periods. Honest to God. I have to go through every happy comment and take out at least half of them before Replying. Sometimes my itchy finger presses Reply too soon.

sample of sarcasm

When surprised or excited by good news, I will use two to four exclamation points. When something makes me jump out of my chair, I sit back down and then use eight, nine, or twenty of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think they show my natural tightly wound and quick with a smile nature.

If I take them all out, it looks like I just lost my best friend or I am not sincere in my response after laughing so hard, my face hurts.

I’ve read more than a few posts written by bloggers who hate them. Sorry. My exclamation point addiction raises its pointed head in nearly every comment unless it is a very serious or sad topic.

Question Marks – Yep. I use them in plural too for emphasis such as, “Can you believe how many question marks I use????”

Acronyms – I have tried out LOL, ROFL, YKWIM, and LMAO, but these descriptive shortcuts just aren’t me. I prefer to write them out. I admit to loving YOLO which means You Only Live Once. They are great words for any Wild Rider to live by.

Awww! – This genuine gushing thank you often accompanies a **blush**.

Cursing – Some blurt f-bombs with no hesitation while others disguise foul language with @#$%. I wrote about the subject here and the comments were f#@%ing amazing! Sorry. I couldn’t help myself… 😉

Hahaha! – My boisterous guffaw can often be heard by my next-door neighbor.

…. – Dramatic or comic pause left at the end of a punchline meaning, “Do you get it? You get it, right?”

ANYTHING IN ALLCAPS  – The message is meant to be really loud or sarcastic.

There are a lot of examples in this Twitter exchange. Can you count them?

sarcasm at its best

…random description  – Three dots enclose an author’s thoughts or action such as the very common, “…spits coffee all over computer screen…” or the uncommon, “…runs outside to howl with coyotes…”

Muah!  – Air kiss.

(((hugs))) (((shivers))) – Self explanatory, but effective.

Now you can go forth and blurt comments with confidence knowing they will be received in the right light or the wrong light, but whatever light you intend. Even if you are not interested in using any of these techniques, at least now You Know What I Mean!!!! 😉

What’s your take on conveying emotion in comments?

Emoticons. Love ’em or hate ’em?

Related articles:

The List of Chat Acronyms and Text Message Shorthand 

This is so Hideous!

Do You Curse Brightly

I Will Follow You!

133 thoughts on “In Defense of Emoticons, Asterisks, and Exclamation Points!!!

Add yours

  1. THIS is f-#%@%ing !!!!!!! When I speak, I typically over-use my hands and facial expressions to make my point. I need all the items on your glossary to help me get my points across and to convey my emotions when writing. I’ve got to find a similar glossary when writing in Spanish! This would have to include some sort of audio component in order show the incr^EASE in volume when speaking, thinking or writing in Spanish! (((((((HUGS)))))) 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I love that idea! I hadn’t thought of how often I use my hands, facial expressions, and inflection. I really love the extra oomph the list gives me. It is like painting and being able to add extra colors!! Besides, for the most part, they are really positive ways to communicate, unless someone uses **yawn** or **groan**.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Like

    1. I LOVE it! I am so glad you are part of “cause!!” I don’t know what I would do if they became extinct… 🙂 The asterisks are a new addition for me, but I love using them too!!!

      Like

    1. Hahaha! I needed to giggle after a bad week, so I thought lots of smiley faces would do the trick and I was right! 🙂
      Thanks Paul!! I am glad you stopped by!

      Can you believe they are predicting 8 inches of snow tomorrow night again??????\

      Like

        1. We were in Boulder and they aren’t releasing the names. I hope it is no one I know, but am praying for the families.
          It’s a weird hazy day. It’s sunny, but the clouds are rolling in!! I wonder what the forecasters are saying this morning. They are probably forecasting 3 feet!

          Like

  2. You’re fired.

    That’s what I would tell a junior copypwriter who couldn’t refrain from submitting articles and ad copy with more than one exclamation point at the end of a sentence.

    An exclamation point is like firing a cannon to add emphasis. How many times, really, do you need to hear the explosion? I hardly use any exclamation points in my personal writing, or very sparingly. And never, ever more than one in a row.

    Ever.

    Remember those dry, witty, self-deprecating VW ads of the 1960s?
    “Lemon.” Best headline ever. The ad agency, DDB, never used an exclamation point in any of their copy. Not for Volkswagen, not for any of their clients. Their writing was witty without a cannon blast explaining “this is supposed to be witty.”

    I will never publish a book or release an ad for a client that has more than one exclamation point. And if he or she refuses to remove the excess baggage, I simply tell the client, gently, with the same effect as if I screamed it with an exclamation point or two or twenty:

    You’re fired.

    Like

    1. Guess what???? You missed the point of my post!!!
      This is not about blog posts, articles, books or press releases. This is about commenting which I believe should always be like conversation. No one has perfect diction so I don’t expect it in the comments. If you meant this to be funny or sarcastic, you might have considered using an emoticon. 😉

      Like

  3. I don’t like communication with written word (now there’s the God awwwwwful texting) simply because there is no body language. No facial expressions, no grunts or growls…you know, sounds of disapproval and you can’t see a smile to know someone was being light heated. Smoke signals was a better way of communicating. 5 Stars for emoticons!!!!

    Like

    1. I am glad you understand! 🙂 It is a strange world of words. I am cautious when leaving a comment on someone’s blog who doesn’t know me. There have been some that had no idea where I was coming from. But there are people I know in real life that don’t understand my humor either!!!
      Thanks for reading Jerry!

      Like

      1. One must have a sense of humor to recognize humor. Too many egos out there trying to defend themselves. There are very few that understands or recognizes my humor but oh well. LMWWAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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    1. It may be a blessing and now I will ruin it for you. All you have to do is type : ) or : ( without a space to get a smiley face or frowny face. : D makes a reeeally big smile!!
      Wow! I didn’t know I was so powerful!! 🙂

      Like

  4. Up until I got into this blogging thing, I was anti-emoticon and exclamation point. On occasion, I even made fun of my mother-in-law for using them so much. Now I get it. There is often a place for them here in this world. Hence, 🙂

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    1. There you go!!! I was reluctant to use them at first and I don’t use them in every comment, but you are right. They do have their place!
      I still check to see what others do and am always finding some new way to convey emotion. 🙂

      Like

    1. That is so true! At first I was uncomfortable with all the Love yous, but now I am more easy going about all of it. When you think about how most good friends sign letters with love, it makes sense!

      Thanks for your Twitter contribution!! 🙂

      Like

  5. Oh my, I love this fun post. Super fun!!! Don’t all these things replace what others can’t see our hands and face doing when we posti on the internet??? I say, how else are we to get our true emotions across??? Emotion doesn’t translation well via the web without a little extra help!!! 😀

    Like

  6. I am so guilty when it comes to exclamation points and ALL CAPS!!! You had me thinking with this post because to me it is just my way of connecting when commenting and just did not delve in any further than that. Happy Monday:)

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    1. Hey Renee! I missed your comment!
      I had a hard time getting used to emoticons, but I love them now. I had read some posts that hated on all kinds of ways I use to express myself so I had to make a stand!!!! 🙂

      Like

  7. I say that writing can be as wonderful as conversation if you do make use of all you mentioned in the proper quantities. I don’t care for ALL CAPS as it does look more like shouting to me than anything else. As for swearing, depends on the situation and the word used. A salty old pirate in a horrible situation is not going to say “crap”. However, he might not throw the f-bomb either; you do have to consider it all.
    Good post! I 🙂 it much!!!!
    Scott

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    1. Thanks Scott! I needed to right a light-hearted post and nothing says happy like emoticons!

      You make some very good points. I don’t think I have cursed much in comments, but if I did, it was pretty mild and very silly!

      Like

  8. Thanks for the shout-out! I’m loving that glossary of yours. I definitely needed one for all those acronyms, and it’s definitely great that I can inspire the six exclamation point reply. Nice. Muy nice.

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    1. Can you believe how many exclamation points I used in our exchange??? Hilarious! I was looking for examples and didn’t have to go far! 🙂
      I still have to look up acronyms and usually use the Urban Dictionary…There is still a lot out there and it keeps changing!

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  9. Oh, dear! I’m one of those who appears to be shouting all the time because of my excessive use of these!! I really do feel quite enthusiastic when I read other blogs.. I’m always so inspired!! And the creativity deserves a few !! At least that’s what I think!! xx Smidge!!

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  10. I was such a hesitant commenter when I first started out as well. What if I came across as a jerk when I intended to be funny? And what in the world did all those strange short forms mean!?

    I got over it clearly 🙂 I still don’t use the acronyms. They don’t feel like me either, but I’m a flagrant user of smiley faces and hehes or hahas 🙂

    I’ve heard people say that smiley faces aren’t professional, etc. But really, without them, it’s difficult to get across the proper tone.

    Like

    1. You sound just like me!
      In my opinion, when we are commenting, it should be in our own voice like conversation. People get to know each other when it isn’t over-edited. It isn’t for a grade and it’s not a master’s thesis!!! :)]
      Thanks Marcy!

      Like

  11. After reading each and every comment, I wonder if there is anything else left to say! Thanks for the fun!!!! 🙂 😀

    Like

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