Emoticons, or the little faces people make in chats and on message boards, are an interesting form of communication. They evolved, in my opinion, to convey the mood of speech which can often be hard to detect over chats on the internet when phrases can be taken more than one, intended way.
Example: Today was great.
This one phrase can change drastically depending on the emoticon used at the end of the sentence. Here are a few examples:
Hey look! A happy face makes it sincere.
Now I’m straight up flirting with you, dear blog reader. Something YOU did made my day great enough for me to throw a wink your way.
Uh-oh, sarcasm alert!
Okay, I think everyone gets my points. So emoticons are there to literally add tone and inflection that indicates emotion into a statement. Good. We’re settled on that. That’s why they are named emoticons.
Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s talk about how someone translated Moby Dick by Herman Melville into emoticons. Yes, that’s right, someone took one of the densest tomes out on the market and turned it into all smiley and winky faces.
This confuses me on so many levels. There are tons of little emoticons out there where I just don’t understand what’s going on. They have evolved from a form meant to convey tone and inflection to, as the image above shows, ghosts, devils, water droplets, lightening, light bulbs, and palm trees. I honestly cannot tell you what emotion I’m supposed to interpret a palm tree as.
But this book does exist and it’s out there for all of our curious readers. And who knows? Maybe writing in emoticons will become a thing. It won’t be a thing I personally would go out, buy, and read, but there’s a market someplace for it, I’m sure, or this wouldn’t exist.
– Amanda Riggle
You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.