Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Have a nice day!




     The smiley face, a graphic low-point of the 1970s, if not of all time, has had its iconography thoroughly documented already, by Smithsonian magazine among others. So I won't bother rolling it out here, except to note that for some reason the smiley face is less objectionable when  shrunken to an emoji at the end of a sentence. 

     Why? Perhaps because it is so very small. Or, more likely, because the internet is a cold medium, nuance is often lost, and if there weren't a way to telegraph that we are speaking in jest, well, we would all be forced to slit our wrists in a warm bath. ๐Ÿ˜Š
     Or maybe we just got used to it, our standards of communication worn down like a rock under a waterfall. OMG.
     Then again, "Have a nice day!" the one-size-fits-all blow-off vale we tossed at each other for decades, wasn't exactly the Sermon on the Mount either. Let's not blame technology for reflecting our flaws.
     On Sunday, in Evanston, before we slipped by the offices of Legacy.com for the Society of Professional Obituary Writers breakfast, my wife and I killed time by stopping in that mecca of all things baked, Bennison's, where we picked up a laudable baguette for dinner. I noticed that their creative bakers had augmented smiley faces with, for want of a better word, frowny faces.
     "Which sell better?" I asked the clerk, who indulgently pulled their tray out of a case at my request so I could photograph them properly. She said that the smile faces are more popular—I guess all is not darkness quite yet, or else people are trying to cheer themselves up however they can, allaying this Trumpian gloom with simpering sweets. 

     Although some people, she continued, will specify the frowns. "They'll order four at a time," said the clerk, who reluctantly agreed to be included in the shot, and I didn't want to push my luck by asking her name. You can't be too careful in this world. No wonder we're so glum. I didn't have the presence of mind to buy a cookie, so I can't say whether I went smiley or frowny—the latter, definitely. Besides, they are a better value: you get extra chocolate icing, in the form of of those vexed eyebrows. Next time.






25 comments:

  1. I confess to a fondness for the variety of emojis available, though I do use them only at the end of a sentence, particularly one that needs a certain whimsical touch.

    Those smiley cookies are cute, but I'm a bit troubled by the frowney cookies (which is an apt description). Whoever designed them added eyebrows onto the poor things, changing what would have been sad cookies, into mean-looking, or angry cookies. ����

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    1. But as Neil said, you get extra icing!

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    2. Yes, the only redeeming feature IMHO. (And chocolate as well.)

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  2. I don't use emojis much. I guess I shouldn't resist using them. To people who don't know me well my sense of humor can sometimes be mistaken for meanness.

    "Have a nice day"? A poor replacement for "Thank you". "Have a good one" is even worse. Ever notice how people who come from other countries, to work here, always say "thank you"? It must be cultural. Americans aren't taught common courtesy anymore.

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    1. I've resisted them too. To me they seem like dotting your "i"s with little hearts: Something you shouldn't do unless you're a 15-year-old girl.

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    2. If you think the missing "Thank You" is bad, Tony, how's about the way "You're welcome" has almost completely disappeared? The current "No worries" or "Not a problem" as responses to Thank You are not favorites of mine.

      Scribe, since I'm an, ahem, older guy -- the attitude you express is shared by most of my correspondents, right down to the 15-year-old girl analogy. But I refuse to be shamed by the barb. I don't use them often, but sometimes I'll lard an email with a bunch just to piss them off. And, as NS and Tony note, in a forum like this EGD comment board, sarcasm is often mistaken for harshness or cluelessness, so I'm not shy about tacking one on at the end of a cheeky comment.

      Funny coincidence today, Neil. The sidebar, way-back machine post on EGD from exactly 4 years ago is titled "Pattern recognition" and the featured pattern is a smiley face in the form of the grille and headlights of a red sports car, as I'm sure you noticed. Cool! : )

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    3. You're right about "you're welcome" Jakash. I'm afraid I'm guilty of using "no problem" often enough. I'm going to work on that. Thank you.

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    4. The worse one was "No sweat." Seemed to last forever too. And then disappeared. Haven't heard anybody say "no sweat" in many years.

      Cool coincidence with the smiley car. I would add an emoji if I knew how to do it. They pop up on the phone when I don't need or want them.


      john

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    5. No worries, Tony. ; )

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    6. John, the emoji key on your phone should be to the left of the space bar.

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  5. I also don't know how to create an emoji, and don't care to. But then I'm really old.

    When I'm told to have a nice day in a formalistic manner I bite my tongue to avoid responding with "I'll have to change all my plans." There's probably nothing wrong with these thoughtless little clichรฉ's designed to grease the wheels of commerce, although some, like "no problem," are more annoying than others. When I first visited France I was told that Parisians were known for being rude to foreigners, but I found the French versions of 'good day,' 'please,' and 'thank you' produced the opposite result.

    "...a laudable baguette for dinner." I shall inscribed it in my mish mash book, alongside James Thurber's description of a character in "the Thirteen Clocks," as "a little man with an unforgettable hat and a forgettable beard."

    Tom

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    1. Don't bite your tongue, Tom. Use your line. If it doesn't get a laugh, you're dealing with a humor impaired person. Tragic, but not your fault.

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  6. There are a few worse things than emojis on the internet, especially social media, and the one that is most overused -- again IMHO -- is the ever/present, near-mindless, overbearing and teeth-clenching "LOL". I have a FB friend, one of my best friends in real life, who simply cannot end any comment without "LOL". Someone could die and she will use it.....��

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    1. (My emojis have all morphed into question marks on today's blog; no idea why).

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    2. What's even weirder is millennial- speak for "that so funny" which is sometimes "I'm dead"

      I guess it cones from the expression " dying from laughter" but I can't get used to it.

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    3. My neighbor kept texting me emojis that my phone translated as huge blocks of Chinese characters. Finally I had to tell her, no more emojis. Either spell out what you want to say or don't say it.

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  7. I was wondering about those, Sandy. First -- how you got them on there, second -- why so many? On the upside, whatever you intended, question marks are versatile enough that they still seem to work with both those comments. LOL! ; )

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    1. Jakash -- I did it for fun, using my iPhone, and though at first they appeared as various normal, yellow emojis, they later turned into question marks. One of life's little mysteries. They were normal for a while, until they weren't. And no, I will not LOL about that....(wink).

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    2. Sandy, you've changed the blog system that you're posting with. Go back to Google or whatever you used to use. Your emojis will probably come back.

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  8. Your Welcome at have disappeared but my kids both use the shorthand version "Welx". I tend to use "my pleasure" . I personally don't mid now worries or no problem.

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