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Why I always put a space in the middle of emoticons

Like this = )

If you are my friend or have seen some of my less formal writing, then you would probably have seen me making smiley faces like this : )) instead of this :)).

This was born out of my frustration with the inconsistency in rendering emoticons across big chat services like Yahoo and Skype and Facebook. The =) icon used to make a laughing face in Facebook, before they totally butchered it by making it look just like the :) icon, which means, if you’ve not been living under a rock, something a world apart. Facebook’s iconic cat face :3 actually renders a black cat in Skype. Fed up with this, I decided to always place a space in there to force chat services to preserve what I want to express. After all, plain text is still the most consistent means of communication.

To quote Graydon Hoare:

Text is the most socially useful communication technology. It works well in 1:1, 1:N, and M:N modes. It can be indexed and searched efficiently, even by hand. It can be translated. It can be produced and consumed at variable speeds. It is asynchronous. It can be compared, diffed, clustered, corrected, summarized and filtered algorithmically. It permits multiparty editing. It permits branching conversations, lurking, annotation, quoting, reviewing, summarizing, structured responses, exegesis, even fan fic. The breadth, scale and depth of ways people use text is unmatched by anything. There is no equivalent in any other communication technology for the social, communicative, cognitive and reflective complexity of a library full of books or an internet full of postings. Nothing else comes close.