9 Emoticons For The High WASP

A reader wrote and mentioned, in passing, her wonderment at the excessive use of emoticons in Internet parlance today. She asked whether I had an opinion. I do. ;)

Little emotion cartoons are an uncomfortable fit in the High WASP world. We still wish for the days when raised eyebrows sufficed. That said, one might imagine an entire lexicon of High WASP emoticons. If one had to. All of which would indicate, in essence, “I am not sure I should be saying this.” We would never use an emoticon to emphasize, only to mitigate. High WASPs live life in the subjunctive, as Tad Friend pointed out in Cheerful Money.

Imagine the following in common use. If you will.

Translation #1: That dress is appalling but I mean no offense. Goodness those yellow smiley faces are undignified.

Translation #2: You have proposed a bad idea. And yes, winking is a little barmaid, but luckily you and I understand irony.

Translation #3: Your child sure does run around a lot. I can’t resist big words. I’m not showing off.

Translation #4: I’m not showing off.

Translation #5: I’m really not showing off.

Translation #6: I fear I am not as cool as I am trying to be.

Translation #7: Hmm. Don’t worry, I am not about to tell you I love you, or anything else embarrassing.

Translation #8: I have been drinking but feel my best self is now revealed.

Translation #9: I am showing off. Please pretend you don’t notice. Please.

And now you understand why High WASPs are not in charge of the West’s emotional dialogue. Thank you. You’re welcome.

Emoticon key:
Mona Lisa color B&W. But you knew that.
Random Greek symbols
James Dean
Heart behind bars
Pretty much add all those things up and my entire culture will sit at the bottom line.

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  • I love this. And just knowing that you were probably wearing kitten heels and Mikimotos when writing this makes me feel like all is well in the world.xo

  • These are a hoot!

  • I rest my face.

  • This is all news to me…

    I must have been hiding out on the ark…
    not surprising with the deluge of rain we are experiencing….

  • I can't bear emoticons, maybe I'm high wasp? I also despise text speak used anywhere other than texting (even then I'm not keen on it).

  • Emoticons with class and breeding. Love it!

  • Brilliant!

  • I love it — thanks for sharing your post on emoticons –I agree with your point of view.

  • So cute! I never, ever even knew about these.

  • I'm not quite sure what to make of this. 8S

  • :-)

    SSG xxx

  • Absolutely hilarious!

  • Oh well. You know me! :) xoxo

  • Superb.

  • This was too cute! It definitely put a smile on my face. And thank you so much for the birthday wishes. It was a wonderful day!

  • Apparently many of your readers are early risers who don't mind that you hit the send button early.

    My favorite part of the post? The very last line of the emoticon key.


  • too funny. the TERRIBLE guy i dated last year used emoticons like it was his job. i should've seen that as a sign…the new beau finds emoticons uncouth.

  • LOL!

  • I never even knew their name but certainly don't know how nor would I use them, but thought it more that I'm not tech savy.

  • Tasteful emoticons: no longer an oxymoron. I have had my daily dose of shock.

  • Hilarious.

  • Good roundup!

  • Let's not and say we did…Brilliant!

  • I love this! Emoticons for the repressed and extremely polite.

    I would add a favorite from one of my family members:

    "Well, it was different. Quite different."

    Translation: "I hated it!"

    I fear, though, that I am not clever or quick enough to come up with what the emoticon should be.

  • This is such fun, Lisa!

    From my mother:
    "What an active child!": "Get that little monster out of here this minute."
    "I am so glad you stopped by": "God, I wish I had not answered the door."
    "Bill, dinner will be served shortly": "Don't give anyone another drink."

    From DH's family:
    "C'est different" (DH's family is French-speaking): "I have no idea what I'm looking at."

  • Ha ha! Too funny! Thanks for the laughs on a hot/rainy day in the office!!

  • Very funny LPC. Smiles and winks. You might consider a High WASP glossary section of your blog for things like this, so people can catch up.

  • Hmm, I find this kind of interesting. (LOVE IT!!!)

    Miss LPC, you really are rather clever. (LPC, you know we think you are BRILLIANT!)

    Do let us know if something else comes up. (You MUST do another post ASAP!!!)

    Heh, heh, heh.

  • you kill kill kill me!



  • hi lpc,

    well done.

    watching the giants kick some texas ass right now. go giants.


  • Molly – Um, they were in the closet, but I will go get them soon:).

    Deja – Thanks!

    Bumby – Ha!

    Hostess – Oh, no, honestly, I just made this all up…

    Imogen – I find I have to use emoticons all the time anyway…

    La Belette – :).

  • Mater – Thanks!

    PoiseMatters – My pleasure!

    Metscan – I confess, I made them up…

    Buckeroo – Ha!

    Sydney – :)

    Tabitha – Thank you. I bet you have a handful of your own.

  • Pink M – Hey! I use them too:). I mean, they are necessary….

    stofnsara – Thank you very much.

    Stephanie – Thanks. And I'm glad you had a good birthday…

    Stacy – Aw. Thank you. It's a rueful one, our culture. No?

    Belle – He has good taste!

    North of 24 – LOL right back at you!

  • Beth Dunn – Nobody knew the names of these icons::).

    Charlotte – What is life, if not occasion for oxymorons….

    Sensible – Thank you.

    RoseAG – Thank you ma'am!

    Belle – Glad you like it.

    Elizabeth – Different. Yes. Well.

  • Duchesse – Hahahahahahahahaha. My favorite is "dinner will be served shortly."

    Worthington – Happy to be of service:).

    Susan – I am working on that.

    TPP – Heh, heh, heh. I'm telling you, it's a language….

    QBS – xox

    Janet – Go Giants!

  • 'Emoticons' – So unused in my circle of friends. I have yet to use these pesky little things, but I enjoyed reading this – I find everything so hilarious, too!

  • This was hilarious. I needed a laugh this morning!

  • #8!!

    You're brilliant!

  • Fashion – Thank you.

    Giovanna – Thank you.

    Jill – Someday with any luck you and I will sit down for a drink together.

  • This is the best trap blog I have read.

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