Emoticons, that ugly portmanteau which has lately been shortened, in an irony widely missed, to either ‘emotes’ or far worse ‘smileys,’ are, as with all text speak, a subject of some rancor. They carry with them a sort of juvenile inanity, a sense that they are best relegated to the most informal of communications, if even then. Yet at the same time, they are a phenomenon which bears examination.
In the absence of both tonality and body language, communication becomes challenging. Some, notably writers, use expansive, demonstrative verbiage to take the place of both, words chosen with utmost care to convey an emotion which would be apparent in spoken English but which in writing must be made explicit beyond contestation. However, attempting to do this in every-day conversation, even for someone who has dedicated their life to the pursuit, is challenging if not impossible. After all, what poor soul wants to write a sonnet every time they ask their wife to get milk on the way home in a way that doesn’tmake it sound like either a command or a supplication?
Thus is born into an uncaring world the emoticon, a string of tiny, emotional avatars serving surrogacy for our intentions. The question, when we have established their usefulness, is how much expansion they will brook. Could one, conceivably, improve upon the works of Sartre with a few tactfully-placed smileys to ensure proper understanding? Would the book of Genesis not be, perhaps, enhanced by the addition of a few O.O and >.> here and there? Could not one, in grand and unapologetic fashion, begin to append them virtually everywhere in an expansive experiment into the possibilities?
Well, no. One really couldn’t. But one could go so far as to accept them, slowly, into increasingly formal works, and by doing so enhance one’s communicativeness. And maybe, just maybe, one could place them alongside their contemporary vernacular and write a Rmnce for the ages…
Rmnce series is a love story told in 4 parts. It follows a couple from the first drunkenly passionate days of their college romance all the way through a life together, often tumultuous, always overwhelming, and overridingly disquieting as only true love can be.
Rmnce is not, however, your traditional love story. Or perhaps more accurately, it does not appear to be your traditional love story. It is written entirely through the communications of the couple. Text messages, emails, and even a few old-fashioned letters make up the entirety of a story, what one early reader termed "A story not so much written as formed organically in the negative space."
It is, in short, a commentary on love in the digital age, a tribute to the great love affairs of the digital generation, romance not lost in the sea of text-speak and instant gratification, but merely obscured from the prying eyes of those too far removed from its cultural roots.