LOL, XD, and T_T- A Rant
THE CHAT BOARDS, NEOPIA- LOL. ROFL. XD. T_T. We see these every day, and use them just as often. BUT (you knew this was coming) do we actually mean them?
When was the last time you were actually laughing out loud when you carelessly scribbled ‘lol’ into your message box? Do you really roll around on the floor laughing? How can you use the cry smiley, if you’re simply sad or disappointed, and not spewing a fountain of tears? These smilies and abbreviations are overused, and we don’t notice that someone who takes smilies very literally could be wondering why some newbie is that funny. When a different user writes ‘lol’, all we think about is them smiling, not laughing hysterically.
May I bring your attention to a much underused abbreviation: GFETE (grinning from ear to ear). Although, it’s likely that no one uses it simply because it is rather weird looking. This abbreviation is also undervalued, although for different reasons than ‘lol’ or ‘rofl’. It simply isn’t used. Perhaps the average user thinks, “Why grin when you can laugh hysterically?” Even if all you are doing is grinning as you look at the computer screen. But laughing hysterically at something only worth a grin is misleading.
Returning to smilies, I would also like to point out the XD smiley. We all know what it means! It suggests more hysterical laughter. But look closely at the X. Does it happen to remind you of the cartooned eyes of someone unconscious or dead we so often see in comics? We obviously have not died laughing, so why use a smiley that suggests so? Because we never stop to think that a smiley could be undervalued. That is how undervalued it is!
Say, for one moment, that a smiley or abbreviation (in this case, the ‘lol’ smiley) is a living creature. In fact, let’s take another step and say YOU are the smiley. You come home (yes, they have homes in this imaginary scene) from work (yes, they have jobs too. Where? The chat boards, of course!) and throw yourself on the couch. You have been used so many times today, that you can’t even remember what you stand for. Laughing Out Loud? You were once used to express minor amusement at a newbie trade! You feel overworked and undervalued. Would you like to be treated this way? For the sake of the smilies, please use something else! Of course, some smilies are very well used. The grinning smiley is exactly like the aforementioned GFETE. It’s a grin (:D)! It’s well used, and usually correctly, but is often replaced for the lol. I have yet to spot a misuse of the winking smiley... because winking can stand for so many things in real life. Also, the angel smiley is well used... but I’m getting off topic here. I’m complaining, remember?
Another smiley misuse is the simple smile smiley. What does this mean? Happiness of course! And yet, we so often see people use this smiley when they are being sarcastic. They’re happy they’re being sarcastic? I smell a sadist. Or, simply a person so used to everyone around them using it, that they don’t even notice the smiley is misused! The angry smiley is a picture of great fury, yet we aren’t ALWAYS greatly furious when we use it. TNT, give us an annoyed smiley! Perhaps the complaining one? Perhaps... but maybe we aren’t complaining. We could be annoyed, but we know it is our fault for whatever wrong thing that happened. And the kiss smiley! We see that all the time, yet would you kiss a stranger? No? I didn’t think so! Another smiley misuse is the red nose one. Which one is that? The one that looks like a giant red button. People use it to attract attention, or perhaps as the suggestion of an alert button. That’s where I see it most; alerts. Rudolph is shaking his head in disappointment. Also, the tongue-sticking-out smiley. Are we really that rude? That we stick out tongues out at complete strangers? My mother would be ashamed. And what is it used for, more often than not? For making a joke. Boy, if I stuck my tongue out at my mother, she’d spank me, not laugh. Do we want to teach children to do that??
Now, I’ll talk about the greatest smiley misuse of all. THE COUGH SMILEY. OH, THE HORROR! THE PAIN! How many times have I seen this used to suggest that you are EATING something? Absurd! Crazy! And yet, we continue with it. WHY? Are smilies so undervalued that we can completely misuse them?
I won’t even go into detail about the pet smilies. Suffice to say, they are used everywhere, and for no apparent reason. Just the other day on the AC I saw a FQD (faerie queen doll) lending board with three Kikos in the board title! What on neopia do Kikos have to do with Queen Fyora? Madness.
Of course, there are many other misused things, such as O_o. Who makes a face like that? I know there are many weird things, and this actually stands for an emotion, and is correctly used, but seriously! If we’re perplexed, confused, or just weirded out, would we make a face like that? No! Better to just use the shocked smiley, which is rather underused. Could be the purple face. And the T_T smiley! It’s much like the crying smiley (only used more often) but if you do cry (I’m sure most of us have before, at SOME point in our lives), the tears would not fall down in perfect, beautiful little lines. They usually leak out the corners of your eyes. Alright, perhaps I’m getting off topic, complaining about how the smilies look, not just how misused they are. But it’s all part of the huge argument about smiley misuse!
My rant is winding down to a close. But my opinion on the subject remains! Please. Stop over using and undervaluing all these fun and interesting smilies. Please. For the smilies.