Jul 15, 2009

;) or :) at the end of a sentence

;) or :) at the end of a sentence: which should I use, and how often?

First, you should use emoticons, as they are called, as liberally as possible, unless you are politically conservative, in which case you should use them frequently.

Each has a specific effect as supplemental (or as a replacement for) punctuation.

Let's compare and contrast, shall we?
I robbed a bank yesterday.

I robbed a bank yesterday :)

I robbed a bank yesterday ;)
The first is a frank admission of guilt, or a matter-of-fact description of one's accomplishments. Devoid of context, it is bland and unassuming. The second positively beams with pride.

The last, however, adds a pinch of flirtatiousness: If you're lucky, you just might end up a little richer. So, while :) is ambiguous, albeit friendly, ;) adds a hint of sauce. If you're going to employ it, be aware of this critical fact.

Also, I should note that for good reason, in academic writing, the use of emoticons is generally frowned upon. >:(

[165th in a series]


Andrew Pouw said...


Hillshum said...

Have you seen this?

Jim Anderson said...

Hillshum, until just then, I had not. Nice.

xkcd is the "Simpsons did it!" of the Internet.