Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Smiley faces now a part of punctuation

Punctuation: punk-chew-ey-shun, defined as the use of symbols not belonging to the alphabet to indicate aspects of intonation and meaning otherwise not conveyable by the written language.
Scientists have noticed a growing trend of modern day language-users littering their writing with symbols that resemble basic facial expressions when looked at from afar to provide insight into the feelings of the writer. A commonly used example of these 'symbolic facial expressions' that are simply called 'smiley faces' (irrespective, one should note, of whether the facial expression symbolically demonstrated is indeed a smile or not) is ':)' (without the single inverted commas). A symbol like that is a simple smile (noticeable when one turns their head to the left) that reflects happiness on the part of the user. A more effusive user would indulge in ":D", a grinny face, as when you cock your head to the left, the face appears as if it is grinning. The English rule-makers have proposed updating the rules of punctuation to include these symbolic faces. An excerpt from the official announcement on the rule-makers website explained the reasons for this inclusion: "We believe that English is an evolving language and must not remain static. The constitution of punctuation is amenable to amendment and so there is no reason for argumentation over the incorporation. :) "
However, smiley faces do not seem to be universal all round; the announcement has evoked a mixed response. Supporters of the movement are pushing for revision of the classics, with edits in the punctuation to include the smiley faces. Janies Gottagun, a 16 year old pointed out the utility of this new method of punctuation. "I will no longer be confused while reading Macbeth if punctuation includes smiley faces. If after each paragraph the publishers/editors include either a ':(' or a ':)', I will be able to follow the text more closely." Critics however, included author Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame who was not sure how he felt about this change. "I'm not sure about how I feel. :/", he tweeted.

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