NOW I AM THE MONSTER
Tonight, reading the final papers from my nonfiction class, I was saddened to discover that one student had not abandoned the habit, which I had critiqued in the past, of using smiley faces in her work. I crossed them out, explaining (again) that powerful writing should generate emotion without emoticons.
Slashing through the third beaming little face, I had a terrible flashback to a moment from my own youth, when an English teacher told me not to use so many exclamation points, because vigorous writing generates energy through language and not punctuation.
I didn’t listen to this teacher. Today I use exclamation points all the time! I don’t think they’re a crutch, so much as another tool in the box. Now I begin to wonder: is that how the next generation will view emoticons? Is one generation’s crutch the next generation’s useful, crutch-shaped mallet?? Have I become an obstruction in the path of literary progress??? Am I now the monster????