if you use emoticons, that is evidence you are incapable of expressing yourself effectively.  you will probably argue that your use of emoticons saves typing.  then why for example do you add a smiling emoticon at the end of a message?  that is a keystroke in excess of what you already typed.  were you a better writer, you could have already communicated a smiling tone by word choice and saved yourself the degrading use of that emoticon.  not only are emoticons ugly, they take all the poetry out of the written word.  nearly every love letter i receive these days has emoticons.  is it just that i attract that type, or has the whole world become illiterate?