Do I really have to add sideways smiles to my posts?

A slight digression, which I’m sure you will forgive.

It occurs to me, based on some of the comments I see via email or my Twitter feed, that people on the innernets cannot differentiate between a joke and an insult.

So I’ve dug around and pulled this from 1983. (Yes, children, we had Ye Olde Internet in 1983.)

Without the voice inflection and body language of personal communication these are easily misinterpreted. A sideways smile, :-), has become widely accepted on the net as an indication that “I’m only kidding”. If you submit a satiric item without this symbol, no matter how obvious the satire is to you, do not be surprised if people take it seriously.

I don’t want to add metacommunicative pictorial representations to my posts. Don’t make me add metacommunicative pictorial representations to my posts. You won’t like me if you force me to add metacommunicative pictorial representations to my posts.

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