A question about punctuation…

I’ll admit it – this has been bugging me for a long time.  I’m no punctuation guru and none of this applies to formal writing, but I really need to know the answer: In emails, social network posts, and blog comment posts, if I write a sentence and place a smiley at the end, does it need further punctuation or not? And where do I put it?

FYI: I’m putting spaces in between the characters so that WordPress does not change them into real smileys.

I love it! : ) (Maybe…)

I love it : )! (I hate this one.)

I love it : )  (A little voice is screaming for something more.)

How about when it’s in parentheses?

I read your book (loved it : )) and have a question .  (Ack!)

I read your book (loved it : ) ) and have a question.  (Nope.)

Okay, so you might think I’m picking nits here, but I’m not the only one. Searching the internet, I found over 93,000 articles relating to this question.

It seems there is an unofficial solution.  If a smiley is at the end of the sentence, one should replace the end punctuation with the smiley.

     I love it : )

If the smiley is in parenthesis, substitute, though the opinions on what to use as substitutions vary as well:

I read your book (loved it : ]) and have a question.  (Yuck!)


I read your book (loved it : D) and have a question.


I read your book [loved it : )] and have a question.  (I think I hate this, too.)

During my search, I found Netlingo, which lists many more smileys than I ever knew existed. For example, Teletubbies have their own smiley -(:)(0)=8  (never thought I’d be mentioning a Teletubby in one of my blogs) and someone with a mustache and beard would be {:-{)}  My puppy should be referred to as <(-‘.’-)> (look at that one straight on, not sideways.) And here is a scuba diver with hair )8-)

Placing the usual punctuation at the end of a few of those sentences might confuse things, and I think it is possible that I’ve been spending way too much time editing my book – my hand is itching to put periods in.

Maybe rewording the sentence is in order?

     <(-‘.’-)> refers to my puppy.

Okay, now I’m having trouble because I’m not capitalizing the first letter.

     This <(-‘.’-)> refers to my puppy.

Much better… but thinking about all this takes time and with most popular social media, time is not an option.

Maybe I should stick to email?

Book review: Open Heart (Farsighted #2) by Emlyn Chand

Another hit from Emlyn Chand!

Told from Simmi Shergill’s point of view, again we get to peak into the lives of our friends Alex, Shapri, and Simmi, teenagers who have extrasensory powers, and we get to know Dax better. Their own abilities attract others with similar powers to move into the area, and their small town has a population explosion, introducing new characters into the mix, and making for some interesting times.

Having the special gift of clairsentience–the ability to detect and influence other’s emotions–Simmi also experiences insecurities about herself that many teenage girls are familiar with. Simmi’s anxieties mount throughout the story, with doubts about her abilities at the root.

While this second book of the Farsighted series, refers to events that had occured in the previous novel, for those who haven’t read it, I believe Open Heart can stand alone. (But I DO recommend that you read Farsighted – it was terrific!) Though I missed being inside Alex’s head and experiencing his visions of the future right along with him, Simmi is an extremely likeable character and I was happy to get to know her better. All of Chand’s characters are so well written… I recognize them from when I was in high school.

I am looking forward to the next sequel, told in Shapri Teak’s voice.

Open Heart and Farsighted are available on Amazon.com

Brenda Novak’s Auction Cure for Diabetes Online Auction

Check out this auction! Great cause, fabulous items – many specifically for readers and writers! Some are regular auctions, others have a set price to buy tickets for that item. If you bid on something today, May 15th, you get a chance to win special prizes!