I'm not a very linear person. I think geometrically. It's just how I am. An old friend told me once, that this was an indication that I would be good at "higher math". Which must explain why I almost flunked out of Algebra, but got straight A's in Geometry. Too bad my Algebra nun didn't see it that way,
Emoticons, for those merely uninformed, are the symbols made to convey emotions in type. They're pretty odd to look at, at first. I wish I had a kilobite for every "newbie" that has asked me, "What does :-) mean?" :-) It's me, smiling. One has to look at it sideways to see it. It's one of those ,"You'll see it when you believe it" deals. A change of perspective is all. (See, I told you I thought geometrically.)
My first few weeks deciffering these little things were interesting. I was amazed by how much information these few little characters conveyed.
Here's a few basics I use a lot. You saw this one :-). This is my norm, everyday, doin' the mail, nicer than a (S),... smile. I take the time to give it a nose, as a show of respect and, 'cuz I think it looks better with a nose. If I'm really happy, I do a :-D. See, much bigger grin. I occasionaly wink, ;-) . There are a few people who have necessitated a :-P . Just because. If you know who I hang out with, you understand this, and have probably seen me do it. I will admit, I have typed a :-) when I actually was doing a :-P in the physical. Well, some people just bug ya.
Sometimes, I'm surprized or shocked :-0, or :-O, depending on intensity. And of course not everything is always gleeful so there's :-(. I use evil grins too, but they are abreviations. (eg) (BEG). I don't go overboard using emoticons. Some people get real fancy, like an angel 0:-). It goes on and on.
The abreviations used in cyber-space were a bit tricky to figure out at first. LOL was my first stumper. LOL? So I, being a merely uninformed newbie, asked, "What does LOL mean?" I was told ,"laughing out loud". Oh? Cool. But then they made it trickier. Somebody typed ROFL. ROFL? What the heck? I actually figured that one out myself after contemplation. Rolling on floor laughing (ROFL) has additions as well. If one is really ROFL hard, then they are ROFLMHO, and they've laughed their head off. If it says ROFLMAO, well, you figure it out. This is a "G" rated page. It took me forever to get GMTA, great minds think alike. No comment.
There are lists and lists of emoticons and abreviations. Do a search on it if you're into that. I'll bet you'll find a lot of them. It really saves time and is, in a sense, a language within a language. I knew I had gotten my bearings in cyber-space, when I could go into a room, and know what was being said, and there wasn't a full word in the window.