The year after I graduated from college I was dating a girl who was still in school. We didn’t have cell phones yet, and it was a time when the term “long distance charges” still applied. The vast majority of our interaction was via AOL Instant Messenger. And this was the early days of IM, before they’d created all those different little yellow faces to use. I’m someone who likes to tease a lot, and we were always getting into arguments because she never knew when I was joking. You lose a lot communication when you take away tone of voice, inflection, and facial expressions.
Now that texting is the norm I run into the same issues all the time with my phone. So I want to create two new punctuation marks: The first one would convey mild enthusiasm. Often I agree with or feel good about something, but not so much that it’s worthy of an exclamation point. The second would imply sarcasm. Just one little symbol so I’d never have to type “j/k,” “lol,” or one of these “:)” again. The first two I absolutely refuse to use, which means I end up throwing tons of smiley faces out there, even though I’m pretty sure all girls think they’re lame. Now I know nobody’s changing the standard keyboard anytime soon, so we’ll have to go with things that already exist. I think ^ works for the less excited exclamation point, and the ~ is perfect for humor. Alright, lets get this going^ With CS’s average daily page hits these both should be internationally recognized by the end of the week~
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