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Call me old-fashioned, but I have never used emoticons in emails. Not once.

I find the little smiley faces utterly offensive, and actually cringe when I read them. Frankly, with the entire spectrum of English language, it's quite easy to get your message across without relying on a smiling or - worse - winking face.

But, then again, I'm judgy about things like that. Email is my thing. Truth is, if there were Olympics for witty, slightly flirtatious email banter, well, I'd get the gold. Seriously. Pit me against another writer and it's like watching p*rn stars going at it. Perfect, clinical, awe-inducing flirty banter at breakneck speed.

In today's digital age, written communication skills are pretty important. Women once eyed up a man's shoes and wristwatch to suss him out. Now, we're much more likely to judge the way he constructs a sentence on Facebook. Not long ago, I stopped fancying a man cold when he spelt the word "diatribe" as "dire-tribe". Stupid, really. He was hot.

Rumour has it, a celebrity couple recently broke up because she didn't like that he used a small "x" rather than a big "X" in a text message sign off. Seems totally reasonable to me. Especially as most girls I know - grown women - spend hours poring over the exact meaning of a two-line email. One of my brightest friends, a top-notch journalist, frequently places typos in her emails so it doesn't give away the fact it took a team of five female editors four days to properly script the requisite "why haven't you called me yet, f*ckwit?" email.

For those of you unsure of the proper usage of your and you're (seriously, dealbreaker material), it might be a good idea to invest in Whitesmoke. The new software is rumoured to turn even the dimmest writers into near-Thespians.

Hopefully, it will also cure the nation of their love of :) or ;). Ugh. That hurt to write.

WhiteSmoke - Write better

by EC
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