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'Parenthetical Purge' Movement Seeks Emoticon-Free December

emoticonEmoticons first appeared -- in rudimentary fashion -- over a century ago, but the online infestation of signifiers has definitely reached epidemic status. Nauseated by that scourge of smileys and winks, two valiant enemies of the emoticon have launched a campaign that urges everyone to -- at least temporarily -- spurn the annoying and inappropriate use of emotionally indicative symbols.

Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich and Psychology Today's Andrea Bartz are urging the online community to forego emoticons for the rest of December. The duo describes workplace conflicts that inevitably arise from emoticon misuse, and they also clearly demonstrate the value of relying on actual words to convey emotions. ("Would you wink at someone in real life? Didn't think so.")

The pair conducted a casual poll with friends and fans, and found the following were the most-hated emoticons (in descending order):
  • :P (46%)
  • >:( (39%)
  • :) (8%)
  • :/ (6%)
  • :( (2%)
Which emoticon do you most hate?
:P9805 (35.9%)
>:(11516 (42.1%)
:)1533 (5.6%)
:/3405 (12.5%)
:(1089 (4.0%)

The most influential -- and disgusting -- argument, though, appears when the authors assert, "emoticons have reached STD-like proportions since their inception, spreading from one person to another like particularly expressive herpes." Puke. (We abstained from using ':-&' just for you, Mses. Ehrlich and Bartz.) If that doesn't inspire people to practice emoticon abstinence, then the fight may be hopeless.

Tags: emoticon war, emoticons, EmoticonWar, web