Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Inquiring Minds Need to Know

With the recent 25th anniversary of the emoticon, I have to wonder about proper emoticon parsing within a parenthetical comment (such as this one). How many right parentheses should be typed?

If I make a smiley face, it ends in a closing parenthesis. Should I then add another closing parenthesis? If I were to do that, the vi editor would tell me that I had mismatched parentheses. On the other hand, a lot of programs such as Word and AIM automagically turn the : and ) into a smiley face, and if you don't add another ), it looks like you're missing a closing parenthesis.

Personally, I consider the ) following the : to be part of the emoticon, and add an additional ) at the end, preceded by a space. But I would be interested in what others think! (So tell me your opinion :) )


Scott said...

You have three problems.

1) You're using vi
2) You're using Word
3) You're using AIM

Fis these three problems and you'll have no trouble.

rachel said...

Don't listen to that curmudgeon! His wife is about to earn a small pile of money by using Word!

I make the emoticon a part of the second parenthesis, I confess.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

I like it with the space. It bugs me to see incomplete parentheses.

Sally said...

Oh man! This is exactly the sort of thing I stress about. I usually re-write the sentence so I can put the emoticon in a different place, separate from the ending parenthesis. Avoid the problem! That's my motto!

(Did you know I used to bring home failed spelling tests on which every word was correctly spelled? If I didn't know how the word was supposed to be spelled I wrote down a synonym. The teacher still marked me down for those and gave no extra points for creativity. Um, there was a point to that story. Oh yeah. :) When in doubt, avoid doing anything that might be wrong.)

See what I did there?