Emoticons: regressed cave paintings or evolved punctuation?

They are everywhere, aren’t they, those annoying little intrusions? Visual shorthand for the inarticulate; signposts for the emotionally illiterate; and evidence, as if more were needed, of the effect of the internet on our increasingly soggy brains. Or are they? Recently, a dignified row broke out on an academic forum because a student had used a smiley in a thread dedicated to formal critiquing of submitted work. The argument was that, as the course was about writing, writing should be the medium by which ideas and views should be communicated, and this should be constructed so as to convey maximum … Continue reading Emoticons: regressed cave paintings or evolved punctuation?

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‘No Animals …’ – the story behind the story

I had just started writing this when I saw that the author of Digging Deep, which followed mine on EDF, had done exactly the same thing. His account of the genesis of his story lets us into the history of it, the emotional drive, and also the subtext that, for better or for worse, is so often implied rather than exposed in very short fiction. Aaron Polson wrote in his blog about the intensity of feeling that underpinned Digging Deep because he wanted us to know, I imagine, how deeply he felt that connection. It is important to him and … Continue reading ‘No Animals …’ – the story behind the story

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