More of our dear readers recognize ☺ as a smileyface than readers would have recognized Pitman’s shorthand · as "the," probably even in Pitman’s day. These readers, however, do not necessarily agree on its signification. The apparent iconicity of the ☺ is debatable. ☺ does not represent a word. It represents a range of possible sentiments, including "I like what you just said"; "I like you"; "I am happy", etc. Moreover, smiling itself is culturally dependent. The emoji is not insulated from the maddening or, some would say delightful soap-bar quality of all communication. Emoji Cro-Magnon might have intended the smiley first, foremost and ONLY to clarify the tone of a previous expression so that readers understood that the expression was not to be taken seriously, as in "I'm joking here," yet it has since been used to express a range of other sentiments, and may or may not be used to clarify the tone of a previous expression. The emoji ☺ may point us in the direction of lightheartedness, but even among speakers from similar cultures, irony and sarcasm are always possibilities. As ever, context is king.
More recently the classical school once again garnered a great deal of attention when during the 1970’s the “nothing-works” doctrine became popular. This culminated in the 1975 book by David Fogel wherein he proposed that the purpose of the criminal justice system was to hold individuals both accountable and responsible for their actions (Schmalleger, 2009). This set a course for the American criminal justice system which would eventually lead to the current “get tough on crime” initiatives.
Head on over to the link below to see much, much more from Vanity Fair’s photoshoot, including some truly beautiful shots of Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill together that are guaranteed to make you a bit sniffly. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15, 2017.
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