Much like the inspirational quotes at the end of an e-mail, I'm officially doing away with any type of punctuation "face." I've heard various arguments all weekend long in their defense. Apparently, they provide some sort of unspoken nuance, particularly the winking smiley face.
"It's really difficult to express tone in e-mails. Emoticons let someone know if you're kidding or flirting."
Nonsense! That's a result of shitty writing skills. If you can't flirt without a semi-colon and a parenthesis, you shouldn't be procreating anyway. And this whole "face" thing leaves just as much room for misinterpretation as anything else. Bad communication skills are bad communication skills, regardless of whether or not the smiley face has it's tongue sticking out.
The jury's still out on instant message emoticon usage, really only because I love that little guy who's laughing so hard, he's literally rolling on the floor laughing, saving one from having to type ROTFL. But that punctuation shit? Over...