I have been known, occasionally, to use the following symbol (or “emoticon”) when writing an email (only, naturally, when wit begs one to employ such a bon mot – only tastefully, sparingly, and cleverly):
And it causes exceeding delight in the recipient, because of its clever utilization. Ergo, the World is a better place.
You are most welcome.
In contrast, I have received emails and blog comments with the following figure:
I will admit: This has led to appreciable consternation on my part. “Why?” you may ask (even though you know I’ll tell you whether you ask or not – you’re welcome!).
Much in the vein of the lil’ old lady in that Wendy’s® commercial of old who demands, “Where’s the BEEF?” I want to know, “Where’s the NOSE?”
I should add at this point that the correspondents responsible for these schnoz-deficient symbols have all been MALE. Kindly disregard the example in the entry below about Shirleen, as she sent that emoticon in a text message, where brevity is the soul of wit and economy and all that.
I’m not going to leap to any sweeping conclusions such as:
What? Sweeping conclusions should be shouted vociferously.
I shall approach this inquiry using science. A lifetime or so ago I was very adept with scientific subjects and the fact that I watch a lot of the various flavours of CSI and Law and Order should make up for any gaps in my memory.
In my study I have a documented cohort of five men who have employed the “smiley” emoticon in their correspondence. I also have scads and scads of anecdotal evidence. In this inquiry that means that I strongly believe that anything I vaguely remember supports my hypothesis that men are more inclined to use the nose-free version of the smiley emoticon. Therefore it is fact. Kate fact. Twice as nutritious as actual facts, but with half the sugar.
Of my documented cohort, a staggering THREE of the five subjects wielded the smiley emoticon sans proboscis. That’s 60 percent and I have chosen to ignore the idea of a margin of error (so messy – let’s just leave that to trained statisticians).
I must also add that one of the men who does use a smiley emoticon with a snoot is Italian. Indeed, English isn’t his first language (though he speaks FIVE or so languages putting most of us to shame and does a very nice job with English). And stereotype would also support the idea that Italian men are more demonstrative and such. I can vouch for the fact that he uses a great deal of extra punctuation (a period AND an exclamation point – or a question mark, a period and TWO exclamation points and a smiley emoticon with a nose).
Therefore, I’m tempted to throw him out of my documented cohort and stick with North Americans, but that seems so MEAN. Instead I’ll just say it’s more like I have a documented an eighty percent positive usage of the smiley emoticon amongst males that is honker-deficient, supported further by my large and very scientific glob of anecdotal evidence.
This engenders a tangential hypothesis. These smiley emoticons without their beaks look rather amphibious. Are men more likely to emulate emoti-FROGS? This could be. However, I can only think of stereotypical sexist evidence, such as the little boy catching the frog and hiding it in the little girl’s desk because it would scare her so! No, no. That’s not Kate Fact.
I shall have to conduct further research (scientific research, naturally) to answer why men use the smiley emoticon sans schnozzola.
I almost wrote, “…why men are inclined to…” but why go and cast doubt on my own conclusion reached with very careful scrutiny of all the empirical data? I shall NOT!
One thing I must point out. And this is just for you, B.Bo. If the smiley emoticon has no NOSE, how will its lil’ goggles stay up? And I quote:
I decided that my emoticons at least need to have sort of protection from fingers while around you. So here it is with protective eye wear:
Still no nose.
See? How would the protective eye-gear stay in place? Super glue?
I may have to just chalk this up to the great inexplicable mysteries of life.