Dot, Dot, Dot . . .

Most of my regular readers are familiar with my use of three dots.  I am of the generation that is not completely comfortable with the use of emojis. Quite frankly, I would have to invent my own. I find them woefully inadequate and they do not represent the emotion I would have at that time. I would only be able to use something that was an approximation. That ain’t me.

At its most basic, writing conveys information. Information can be sterile and while edifying, it really has no emotion. Individual words, sentence length and punctuation do attempt to fill in the gap but they too are inadequate. Communication is approximately 90% nonverbal. 90%! The twinkle in the eye, the upturned corner of the mouth, the slight flush to the cheeks or the bowed head. A sigh, a giggle. These all speak volumes without words. Inflection, hesitation, volume, all of these speak to emotion in the meaning of the words. A gifted writer will convey all of these with their words. A gifted writer. The rest of us just fumble. Hence . . .

Punctuation can help with inflections on sentences or words. Three dots imply a hesitation, a pause. During a face-to-face conversation that can be quite telling. If I have to explain to my readers that my eyebrows were raised while making a statement then that statement becomes unimportant, even amusing. And yet if it is done while we are speaking face-to-face it will emphasize the statement.

Social media has enabled us to stay in touch but it has taken the colour out of our words. Emojis try to replace them with tiny little images which, in my opinion, are utterly inadequate. I also find that there are a lot of anagrams in use. I’m embarrassed to admit that a lot of them I don’t understand. For years I thought LOL meant Lots Of Love. Oops. Now I know it means Laugh out Loud. But there is no dictionary to tell you what they mean! Fortunately, I have friends who take pity on me (I am sure they are smirking although I can’t see it) and they explain things to me. It took me years before I finally broke down and asked what ROTFL meant or SWMBO. (Rolling On The Floor Laughing and She Who Must Be Obeyed) Just in case I’m not alone out here…

Ain’t communication grand!

43 thoughts on “Dot, Dot, Dot . . .

  1. Dan Antion

    I use emojis in text messages, but I am frequently annoyed at the simple ones that are missing. For example, I can’t add a lime slice to my beer – WTH? (Sorry, Pam, I couldn’t resist, but at least I used a more polite form).

    I like SWMBO, because my friend David introduced it to my wife and I when he was visiting from England. When I see it, I hear him saying it, British accent and all (which of course, makes everything better).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jennie

    Well said, Pam. I have succumbed to using emojis, and perhaps that speaks to not putting in the work to really say what you mean. Is it the lazy way out? Well…yes. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark Lanesbury

    Me too dear lady, in the beginning I just smiled and winged it…and sometimes made a bloody fool of myself 🤣 Then the emoji’s at least gave a bit of an understanding 😎 I think 😱 But hopefully they tempered what was said 😀 or gave added meaning in what they give ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Mark Lanesbury

        I have to agree to the tiny images which makes them very hard to decipher in a lot of instances. I’ve had my eyes lasered and have perfect vision…and I struggle to make them out in most of them, hence the use of a heart, a prayer, a butterfly and of course a bit of laughter to lighten what may come across a bit hard in some instances. I still use too many, too often, it was a habit I decided was good a couple of years ago…another bad habit bites the dust? 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy’s Law

    I thought LOL was lots of love too! I had to ask my daughter. Oddly, I knew what WTH and WTF meant! Not sure what that says about me. Thank you for explaining ROTFL and SWMBO…right over my head. The only anagram I remember is from years ago that you wrote on the back of an envelope to someone special…SWAK…sealed with a kiss. Yeah, I’m that old!

    I use emojis too, but I hope I don’t overuse them. There’s a gal who comments on many of the blogs I follow. She uses an emoji, or a string of them, every three to five words she writes. I love reading all the comments a blogger gets. I can’t read this woman’s comments any more. It’s maddening.

    This post is so timely for me Pam. I started a new book a couple of days ago and the thought hit me that in all the books I’ve read since emojis came on the scene, there is never an emoji in a book. As you pointed out, a good author can make you feel it, see it, smell it through his or her words.

    I’m reducing the amount of sugar I eat. Gonna reduce the amount of emojis I use as well!

    Love, love, love your painting. They look like emojis!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. quiall Post author

      Please don’t stop using emojis on my account! I too am of an age I knew what SWAK meant but now most language on social media seems to be acronyms and teeny tiny pictures. Some of those emojis are hard to see and decipher. Maybe it’s just me.


  5. dweezer19

    I agree Pam. Sadly, the noble art of using the English language and it’s punctuation system has fallen out of favor with the uneducated and the fast paced hit-em-and-run world of social media-ites. While I appreciate emojis when I want to emphasize my inflection or attitude to avoid misunderstanding, I am with you on the anagrams. It took me a year to finally ask someone what SMH meant and just as I got comfortable with LOL, out came LMFAO (which is quite one of my faves now). But still..
    It isn’t a real language and there are too many combinations for everyone to keep up with. I fear that soon we will return to grunting and pointing. Well.. at least those emojis will be simple enough. What say all you cavemen out there? 😉🤗

    Liked by 2 people

      1. dweezer19

        SMH is Shaking my head. 🤦‍♀️Like this emoji signifying frustration. And yes, LMFAO means just what you think. When I found that one out i literally LMFAO! 😂😂😂Glad there’s no emoji for that one. 😱

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale

    I do use emojis but much prefer the face to face,can’t hide the emotions type. I am an avid user of the … As well!
    And by the way, you can google any anagram and find out its meaning 😉😘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Pearce Griffin

    This gave me quite a chuckle! I used to think LOL was Lots of Love also – until my daughter explained it to me. LOL
    Thanks for explaining ROTFL – I had been afraid to ask. SWMBO? I’d never seen used but will now be looking for it everywhere because I quite like it! LOL
    I’m embarrassed to admit that I figured out WTH and WTF all by myself. Shrug. SMH
    As for … well … I love dots ……… no matter how many there are.
    LOL (and this time it actually means Lots of Love)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Widdershins

    When I text I always use proper punctuation. It’s a matter of principle. 😀 … as for emoji’s, they’re useful, like all tools, when used by them’s wot knows how to use ’em. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorryless

    I agree on the social media supplements too many of us take as gospel vitamins. Too many have used them as replacements for communication, REAL communication. Of which it most certainly is not. These words, your words and my words, will always matter most.

    Liked by 1 person


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