Lately I found in the main site emoticons. Inside questions, comments and answers, those colorful signs tend to catch attention in the very same way that capitalization does (visual analogue to be yelled at).

In case that I'm not the only one with that feeling, is there a way to discourage their use here, just as to respect the eyes of the users here?


2 Answers 2


While I appreciate your view and would not use emoticons myself, this SE meta discussion and its linked duplicate especially considering the votes seems to indicate an endorsement in the community.

  • Those arguments are for emojis in design sites. Since this is a language site, I think the pro-emoji answers given there don't apply here (I don't care about comments, but in posts? That's a headache). Also nobody wants to forbid the technical implementation of emojis. One could discourage their use in the same way that THIS TEXT STYLE is not salonfähig here.
    – c.p.
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 9:13
  • Would it be appreciated to edit them out (in case they are offtopic in the question) and just hint the author in a comment? Commented May 13, 2021 at 18:56
  • @ShegitBrahm: Given the apparent lack of further opinions on this issue, I see no real convincing reason to do so; the claimed "improvement" is mostly subjective. Perhaps a comment just to express your disapproval (or suggesting a word-based phrase) might trigger consideration if it receives some upticks.
    – guidot Mod
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 20:26

You are right: This is a site about language, i.e. about communication. But emoticons are signs used to communicate. So, why should their use be discouraged?

I don't like them and I use them only in very rare cases, but they are still signs used to express certain meanings in written communication, so they complement written language, like facial expressions and gestures complement spoken language. I know people who are unable to talk when they are not allowed to move their arms, and almost everybody gestures also during a phone call. This is part of human communication and emoticons are the best try to adopt facial expressions and gestures in written communication. For many people this is a very important channel to express their emotions in written communications.

And these signs are connected to languages. If you turn off the sound and watch people talking to each other in TV shows, you can tell from their gestures which language they speak (watch people from France, Italy, Iran, Japan etc.). And you also have good chances to guess the language of a written text containing emoticons if you delete the "normal" characters. (From my personal experience I can tell that people from South Korea use signifficant different emoticons than we do in Europe.) So, emoticons have a strong connection to languages and are a channel to transport emotions (i.e. meanings) and so they are part of languages and shall be allowed on all sites about languages.

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