Who's gone the longest without using smilies?

I take an inordinate amount of pride in the fact that I’ve never used a smilie during my short career as a doper (in both my incarnations). I’m a bit of a prig and a great believer in CS Lewis’s old adage that a decent writer should be able to express what they want to express without recourse to italics and the like. (I’ll get a cite anon.)

So, which of you established dopers has gone the longest without using these dreadful things? And, possibly more interesting, for you who held out for ages and then succumbed to this hideous fashion, what was the factor that broke down your resolve?

Serious contributions allowable, but people who feel really strongly about this are advised to start a pit thread.

I don’t think I’ve used a smilie (smiley?) since 2001 or so. I don’t know why - probably Scylla-envy.

  1. You set the bar very high Alessan. Anyone able to Fossbury flop a little further?

And thanks for pointing out my error so gently. Very civil.

Might I enquire what Scylla-envy entails? Time for a bit of a sidetrack, anyway.

It just means that Scylla a) is one of the SDMB’s best writers and b) never uses smilies. I’m just following his example.

Hmmm, let me think about it… Definitely not I :wink:

I’m pretty sure I’ve never intentionally used any emoticons at all. There have been a couple of accidents since a colon followed by a parenthesis turns into an emoticon, but they don’t count, 'cuz I say they don’t.

We had an old-timer named ChiefScott who absolutely loathed smilies. Hated them more than anything else in the world. I mean, his hatred of smilies was absolutely legendary. I don’t recall ever seeing him use a smilie in the 4+ years he was here. At least not intentionally.

I agree with this. In addition, a good programmer should be able to code a program without recourse gotos, and a good cook should be able to make spaghetti without recourse to canned sauce.

I program, and I’ll use a goto when it will save me a few lines of code. I cook, and I’ll use canned sauce (usually Prego) when I don’t feel like making my own. Finally, I write, and I’ll use smilies where I feel that doing so will convey my intent in a more succinct manner than verbal cleverness. The above principles still hold true, but there’s a corollary that’s left unstated. I’d reword the underlying idea as follows:

To refrain from using devices of convenience in one’s work, while still accomplishing one’s purpose, is a sign of mastery of the task at hand.

In other words, you can refuse to use smilies, and if you still get your point across, you’ve shown that you’re adept at writing. The aformentioned Scylla is a prime example of this behavior. However, the use of smilies and the like by no means necessarily detracts from the skill of the writer/programmer/what have you. If I’m making an offhand comment, and my choices are:

  1. There may be some disagreement on the finer aspects of the point, but I suspect that most will get the general idea.


  1. And I’m sure we can all agree on that. :wink:

…guess which avenue I’m more likely to take. That said, these offhand comments probably account for 95% of my smilie usage, but the point still stands. Reapply the principle as necessary for italics, gotos, Prego, and so on.

I don’t fault you for not using smilies. All I ask is that you not fault those who do, at least not on that basis alone.

Sorry to double-post, but I just found an excellent example of my point. Over in this thread, Silentgoldfish wrote a post responding to someone who was complaining about George Lucas’ “Special Edition” movies. He said:

My best guess was that this was intended to be sarcastic. Apparently the next poster, Priceguy, didn’t agree, and responded:

…prompting Silentgoldfish to come back with:

Now, there are three ways I can think of in which Silentgoldfish could have given himself a better chance of getting his point across as he intended it.

The first would be the straight-up version: “Lucas’ special editions are a clear sign that his former artistic vision has been lost, or at minimum altered to beyond recognition.” Remove all elements of irony, and the point gets across just fine. Rather bland, though, if I may say so.

Secondly, he could try being so very over-the-top that there’s no way anybody could take him seriously: “What are you talking about? Lucas clearly the world’s greatest genius, and is using the special editions to better convey to us the perfection of his message. As his only limitations are the constraints of modern technology (since clearly, the problem could not lie in his vision), he should continue making new editions until the day he dies, that we may come closer to fully comprehending his greatness.” Obviously sarcastic, but overly verbose, and it somewhat overstates the point.

Finally, the third method: “What are you talking about? The directors cut is his original vision, the one he couldn’t make the first time around because of limitations in special effects technology and budget. ;)” Or, for the stronger version, he could opt for the hallowed “:rolleyes:”.

Hmm. Decisions, decisions. :wink:

I don’t know if this counts, but I had never used an emoticon before I came here. I think I’ve used them sparingly in my posts. The ones provided are pretty good for establishing a mood or conveying a message; they’re better than trying to write an explanation and unnecessarily wording up your posts (like this!). Otherwise, I never use them elsewhere, not even in e-mail to my wife.

I also hate smilies, emoticons… I have never, ever, used one in my life, neither here nor anywhere else (emails, other forums, usenet…)

When I’m talking to some friends with Messenger and they start using these things I begin to imagine them as round, yellow (sometimes red…) stupid looking balls…

Never have; never will.

ChiefScott did use a smiley once. I don’t recall the event, but it was something special. Maybe someone can dig it up.

I remember it. TruePisces posted something that was, er, not unpleasant, and ChiefScott replied so quickly that he didn’t see a character string consisting of … well, the result was a smilie. He was visibly displeased.

There’s apparently another one, but this predates me (and TruePisces). Damned if I can find the one I remember, though.

I have never used a smiley of any description, anywhere. Smileys are the devil’s plums and should be placed in a small box and sent nowhere, forever.

I’ve never used them except accidentally when character strings have produced them. I hate them. I think they make for lazy writing. They betray a lack of confidence in one’s ability to get one’s point across. They’re like laughing at your own joke in the hope that other people will think it’s funnier because someone’s laughing. Like a laugh track on a sitcom. Posts that consist of nothing but a quote of a previous line and a smilie should be grounds for banning.

Not that I have strong feelings on the subject.

Does it count against me that I initiated the use of the double eek in the phrase DHIBJD :eek: :eek: ?

Oh, that reminds me, Laina. Can’t abide abbreviations either. I had to google YMMV (and that’s probably wrong) and still can’t remember what it stands for or what what it stands for means.

I see on a vanity search that some people have said some nice things about me. I’m at a loss for words to describe how happy this makes me. So…

I’ve never used an emoticon in all the time I’ve been on the SDMB.

We should form a club, Wendell, or have non-smiley only threads?

Have 'bout it, guys?