There's no nose to punch, and no balls to kick. They just sit there with their idiot grins, "beaming happiness into the aether"... Makes me sick.
I rarely, if ever, use smiley faces in my online text. Sure, they're a great way to denote sarcasm or attempted humor, but so is just being funny. Not that everyone will always agree on what is or isn't humorous. Take the first three sentences of this post.
There's no nose to punch, and no balls to kick. ;-) They just sit there with their idiot grins, "beaming happiness into the aether"... ;-) Makes me sick. ;-)
Does it really need to be explicitly stated that those words are facetious, and meant to be sarcastic?
Smileys help readers interpret the tone of the writer, on teh intartubes and elsewhere. They give a very insignificant portion of body language context. They also require absolutely no effort or intelligence to be understood. It's not cheating, it's just intellectually lazy.
It puts the burden of comprehension on the writer- fair enough to an extent- and absolutely removes any requirement for thought about context from the reader. As they are used more and more, people rely on them more and more to the point where if a post is absolutely void of smileys, some people won't recognize even the most blatant uses of irony or sarcasm.
Worse still, you can see the mental goo-ing effects by the inane discussions on some forums over which smiley signifies irony versus sarcasm versus intentional abuse versus AIDS. (My favorite smiley is ALWAYS the AIDS smiley.) It's ridiculous. The connotative context of the word strings make it ironical or sarcastic, not which emoticon is closest.
If you disagree, fuck you.
\(And then notice how you didn't get the joking context of that last sentence.)