FTT #60

Long interested in the history of punctuation, I was fascinated as a boy by Victor Borge’s idea of phonetic punctuation.  As I became more aware of the world of computers, I learned about the emoticon, a strange new development beyond exclamation points and question marks.

And yesterday, for the first time, I was introduced to the phonetic emoticon.

Teresa the five-year-old and Tina the three-year-old have each begun adding a tongue click sound to the end of happy sentences.  Teresa:  “I’m doing three pages of math today [click]!”  Tina:  “Can you give me some raisins? [click]”  Really, really happy paragraphs will have as many as three or four clicks.

It seems to function more or less as a vocal smiley face–always accompanied by a visual smiley face, of course.  Now that I think of it, children have for many ages had the vocal equivalent of 🙁 and :-O.

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Author: Dr. Holmes

Dr. Jeremy Holmes teaches Theology at Wyoming Catholic College. He lives in Wyoming with his wife, Jacinta, and their eight children.

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