Complex Opinions Made Unrealistically Simple

Emoji Mess

Back in April I wrote about a meme that encouraged your Facebook friends to inbox you a color indicating their grammatically-questionable feelings for you. That meme assured you that the interaction would be private, which made me wonder: why not just have your friends tell you how they feel in plain syntax instead of having them color code it?

Today’s meme proves that you needn’t type out the names of colors; you can also express your deepest-held emotions about another human being using various smileys and frowneys. So this is what we’ve been reduced to – encoding our relationship desires and fears into smiley icons. How wonderful. Then again, given the apparent difficulty of constructing short, grammatically correct English sentences, maybe it is best that we throw in the towel and switch to an icon-based form of written communication.

We might as well get our hands dirty. Let’s examine these personal revelations one by one.

  • 1) “Can I keep you” The word order implies that this is a question, but I don’t see a question mark at the end. The meaning is a bit ambiguous. Can I keep you…in a cage? Can I keep you…on the phone while I describe my recent root canal in excruciating detail? The heart-shaped eyes indicate some measure of romantic intent. Can I keep you…from pursuing romantic relationships with people whose eyes aren’t grossly misshapen?
  • 2) “Your a jerk” Given the number of grammar purists (I prefer that term to “grammar Nazis”) roaming the Internet, you know this memer has heard about the distinction between your and you’re. To continue to make this most basic grammatical mistake smacks of malice. Why do you hate my ability to clearly understand your meaning? Also, why would you include “You’re a jerk” as an option? If you suspect that some of your friends think you’re a jerk, why do you have them as friends?
  • 3) “Kik me” Thank Glob for Google. I was about to poke massive fun at the author of this meme for misspelling the word kick, but now I know that Kik is a smartphone messaging app. Who are you calling a noob? At any rate, is it wrong of me to think that the author probably deserves a reak kick as well? Not a hard one…just a gentle boot in the pants to emphasize the importance of clear communication.
  • 4) “Your cute” My cute what?
  • 5) “Gorgeous” Here the author employs a minimalist approach to communication. Why bother with nouns and verbs to clarify your meaning when you can spurt forth a single adjective and leave your meaning subjective? Truly, this person is an artist.
  • 6) “Fake” Ah, the author brings us another masterpiece of austerity! What could he mean by “fake”? Is the meme fake? Is the author fake, and if so, in which sense: is the author disingenuous or does he truly not exist as a corporeal entity? So many questions! So many possibilities!
  • 7) “You scare me” Yes, I frequently contact people on Facebook who frighten me, then wait patiently for the exact moment that I can send them a squinty face to indicate how much they scare me. And now my patience has paid off!
  • 8) “We should date” If I wanted to ask you out, I would respect you enough to ask you in person instead of by sending you an icon. That’s just me.
  • 9) “Sporty” Sporty means flashy or showy in dress or behavior. It has nothing to do with actual sports. So now I’m confused: Is the baseball icon meant to be a pun, or does the author not understand the actual meaning of the word sporty?
  • 10) “I love you” I don’t have a problem with this one, as long as you’re not confessing your love for the very first time via icon.
  • 12) “I stalk you” I bet people who have been stalked don’t find this all that cute.
  • 13) “Your cool” My cool what?
  • 14) “I’d hit that” Violence is never the answer and communicating threats is a serious offense. Oh wait…you were just expressing your willingness to become sexually involved? Oh…how charming of you.
  • 15) “Your funny” My funny what? My funny inability to count without skipping the number 11? What about it?
  • 16) “I miss you” Then stop sending me ridiculous icons and let’s actually communicate.
  • 17) “Be mine” Aww, it’s the icon equivalent of a candy heart. Remember candy hearts? Man, those things were terrible!
  • 18) “Text me” But please, spell out your words and use proper grammar.
  • 19) “Weird” You know, to the aliens we would be the weird ones. Did you ever think about that, Mr Earth-centric?
  • 20) “Your ugly” My ugly what? My ugly intolerance for people who cannot distinguish between your and you’re? What about it?
  • 21) “Marry me” Even if I weren’t already married, I’d have to take a pass on this one. I just don’t think the author of this meme knows enough about life to consider getting married.
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