Nerd Note: Punctuation and Emoticons

EmoticonSomething has bothered me for a long time.

I’m sure it doesn’t bug anyone but word nerds, but, since you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming that you question it as well.

Do you use other punctuation when you use an emoticon?

For example:

I love it when it rains! ;)

or

I love it when it rains ;)

It seems strange to use three different punctuation symbols, especially when they aren’t converted to little faces like they are above.

The easy answer is to avoid using emoticons. And, of course, I do in formal communication. (You can read IDK = I Doubt You’ll Get a (Positive) Response for my views of emoticons in professional communication).

But there are times (for example, text messages or Twitter posts) when I find myself wanting to use an emoticon to ensure that my post isn’t misinterpreted. Being a word nerd, I also want to make sure to use proper punctuation, but I don’t know what to do! :(

I even checked my favorite online grammar source, Grammar Girl, but came up mostly empty (I found a post on using noses for your emoticons. Perhaps it was a “slow news day”?)

Let’s Talk Nerdy!

What do you think? Is other punctuation needed when using emoticons? If so, where should it be placed?

8 comments
BruceSallan
BruceSallan

I personally really dislike "emoticons" - yet another SoMe obnoxious term! 

 

BUT, I have a request for your next "Nerd Note!" After just hearing "our" president repeatedly uses the expression, "Reason Why," I wish you'd address how stupidly redundant those two words are together! Use one or the other!

samanthaswade
samanthaswade

@SteveCassady @profkrg Great topic of discussion, one I would like to find more articles on...

samanthaswade
samanthaswade

@SteveCassady @profkrg Great topic of discussion, one I would like to find more articles discussing...

profkrg
profkrg

@dbvickery I'm thinking punctuation, space, emoticon. What do you think?

ebrenner
ebrenner

Maybe I'm being too rigid because I use emoticons only in informal situations (personal email, status updates, etc.), but I do use sentence-ending punctuation and then emoticons, even those that are solely punctuation. I put a space between the sentence and the emoticon, as if the emoticon were a new sentence. I'm not sure what to do when the emoticon comes just before a close parenthesis (my smiley face would have a double chin!), so I try to write around that problem. :-) 

profkrg
profkrg moderator

 @BruceSallan I don't see any reason why I couldn't write a Nerd Note about that. :)

 

Thanks for reading and commenting!

 

Kenna

profkrg
profkrg

@samanthaswade @stevecassady let me know if you find any info on using emoticons with punctuation.

dbvickery
dbvickery

@profkrg I've done it both ways. punctuation, space, emoticon....or word, space, emoticon, space, punctuation.

profkrg
profkrg moderator

 @ebrenner Fat emoticons are a whole new issue! That is absolutely unacceptable. I would write around it too.

 

Thanks for reading and commenting.

 

Kenna

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