Emoticons In My E-Mail And Text Communications Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Communication Type: Essay Paper: #29256127 Related Topics: Visual Communication, Non Verbal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Interpersonal Communication
Excerpt from Essay :


In my e-mail and text communications with friends and family, emoticons are actually infrequent. I receive them more than I use them myself. There are a few different ways to analyze this. Emoticons are intended as the "graphical representations of facial expressions" when using technology-mediated modes of communication (Walther & D'Addario, 2001). They act, therefore, as a substitute for non-verbal communication in face-to-face speech. It has been found that emoticons are generally outweighed by the verbal component of the communication. Further research has showed that the most important communicative value of emoticons are as a means of communication not emotions, but context. Emoticons tell the message recipient how the message is to be received (Skovholt, Gronning & Kankaanranta, 2014).

I have found that the latter tends to be true. Emoticons are used by myself in outbound communications mainly in situations where there may be interpretation issues with the text. If the face value of the text is subject to interpretation, as in the case of something like sarcasm, then emoticons point the reader in the direction of how that text should be interpreted.

Most emoticons used tend to be standard as well. This is because non-verbal communication demands a high degree of clarity, such that the use of non-standard emoticons would be potentially confusing. I think about communication with my brother, which in other contexts will often contain random references to share experiences, and other elements that would make it difficult for an outsider to comprehend, there are no specialized emoticons, just standard ones, and they are almost never used because there is seldom any need to guide my brother with respect...


Communication between us can be very high-context, but that also means that misinterpretation is unlikely, negating the need for emoticons.

If there were specialized emoticons, I suspect that they would serve the same purpose as other specialized elements of our communication, being to make the conversation exclusionary to others, and to strengthen the social bond by means of having this specialized language.


There are many types of figures of speech. Accumulation is a figure of speech in which an argument previously stated is restated in a forceful manner. This is a commonly-used method of argument in modern communications, in everything from advertising to rallying support for political causes.

A second figure of speech is alliteration, which is used to draw attention to a sentence. Alliteration may be done because it is playful, but also may be used to emphasize particular ideas, or create mnemonic for the reader.

Dysphemism and euphemism are two other figures of speech. As antonyms, they represent the use of harsher speech that might normally be used, and softer. A homeless person could thus be described as a vagrant (dysphemism) or a socioeconomically disadvantaged (euphemism). Dysphemism is euphemistically known as 'unfortunate phrasing', while euphemism is dysphemistically referred to as "politically-correct bulls***."

A fifth figure of speech is hyperbole, which is the use of exaggeration, either for comedic value or to emphasize a point. You see hyperbole about a million times a day. A sixth figure is the lilotes. This is the use of understatement to express the affirmative by negating its opposite, or at least I hope that is not a bad way of explaining it.


There are a lot of non-verbal cues that are missed when communicating online. The use of SeeStorm Messenger provides the users with some opportunity to produce non-verbal communication but the avatars used are not nearly as sophisticated nor as responsive as the non-verbal communication in face-to-face contact. Online, without avatars, you miss most non-verbal cues. On SeeStorm Messenger, you get to convey vocal tones, pauses and some visual elements. But the visual elements are not really your own, they have delayed reactions, and lack…

Sources Used in Documents:


My English Pages. (2014). What are stylistic devices? MyEnglishPages.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014 from http://www.myenglishpages.com/site_php_files/writing-stylistics.php

Skovholt, K., Gronning, A. & Kankaanranta, A. (2014). The communicative functions of emoticons in workplace emails. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Vol. 19 (4) 780-797.

Walther, J. & D'Addario, K. (2001). The impacts of emoticons on message interpretation in computer-mediated communication. Social Science Computer Review. Vol. 19 (3) 324-347.

Cite this Document:

"Emoticons In My E-Mail And Text Communications" (2014, November 18) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from

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