Re: Emoji: emoticons vs. literacy

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Dec 24 2008 - 13:22:34 CST

Clark S. Cox III wrote:

>> The syntactical form of English exclamations is usually identical to
>> the syntactical form of English questions, so the punctuation marks
>> distinguish and tell us how to read them.

> Which is exactly the same function served by emoticons. Some things can
> take on a very different meaning without them:

> "You can go to hell"

> "You can go to hell :)"

> One of them is a playful, sarcastic jab, while the other is quite
> insulting. The emoticon distinguishes and tells us how to read them.

No. The emoticon signals the intent of the writer. The punctuation
signals the grammatical distinction between a question and an exclamation.

'You can go to hell' and 'You can go to hell' are identical declarative
sentences, and that doesn't change if one adds an emoticon to one of them.


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