Children's writing

Culture in Emoticons

I hate to cover up Saturday’s post, but I hate to let the blog sit idle, too. I hope you will go read it if you haven’t already.

This is something I discovered earlier this month after I’d fallen off the blogging horse and before I’d climbed back on again. It’s such a cool thing, it hasn’t been forgotten in my tiny pea head or replaced by the next cool thing.

snow.jpgNo, this isn’t the cool thing. I just now took this picture. September 30th, noonish. When it snowed eight days ago, I felt certain it would melt and Fall would return. I’m not certain this isn’t here to stay.

I learned this cool thing from mitali’s fire escape, which is the blog of Mitali Perkins, a children’s book author of life between cultures and readergirlz Diva. Got all that?

Here’s the cool thing:

Different cultures demonstrate emotions in different ways. For instance, Japanese culture focuses on eyes whereas North American culture focuses on mouths. Evidence for this can be found in emoticons–this is what I think is so cool.

In my neck of the digital world, happy and sad are demonstrated something like this:

: ) and : (

The mouth says it all. (I have to put the spaces in or WordPress changes my characters to yellow smiley/frowny faces. I hate it when the computer thinks it’s smarter than I am.)

In Japan, happy and sad are demonstrated like this:

(^_^) and (;_;)

See the happy eyes and sad, crying eyes? Here, the eyes say it all.

Mitali’s got a bigger reason for bringing this up. Me, I just think that tidbit is cool. Suddenly I’m interested in emoticons.

3 replies »

  1. That is very interesting. It makes sense, but I had never though about it. I agree with Monique. I like the Japanese happy face, but it isn’t as quick.