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The New York Times Is Using Emoticons in Headlines Now: Awesome or End of World?

SodaHead Fun 2011/09/30 22:33:52
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Whoever thinks the end of good journalism is near, they may have an even stronger case now than they did before. The New York Times -- you know, that dinky little newspaper in that one random city -- is using emoticons for their headlines now. And we don't just mean they're doing it as a cute little bonus to a light-hearted article -- they're inserting it as an actual replacement to a word in the headline.

On a recent article about Twitter and mood swings, The New York Times decided that a happy face emoticon would be more appropriate than writing out the word "happy." Talk about lazy. It's not even a long word, NYT!

emoticon headline

Well after receiving some negative press from...well, everyone...the Times' Senior Software Architect tried to clarify the surprising decision on Twitter. "Just to be clear, the :) is not in the print headline or the e-headline sent to electronic devices," Harris tweeted. “It’s just some homepage fun.”

Homepage fun or not, according to The Cutline’s Dylan Stableford, this is the first time that “an emoticon was used to convey information in a headline.” Though, apparently, it's not the first time that an emoticon has been used by journalists and editors in the headline.

The best part of this story is that "Curb Your Enthusiasm" totally predicted this trend in its newest season. Way to go, Larry. We knew you had all the answers.

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Top Opinion

  • Little Miss Monster 2011/10/01 01:04:51
    End of World
    Little Miss Monster
    +13
    Since when did this seem like a good idea? Newspapers are supposed to be all about formal language...and now they're going to use emoticons? That is just bizarre. Emoticons belong in chatrooms and instant messages, not in newspapers (especially not headlines).

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  • Jesus Freak and proud of it 2011/10/02 12:07:11
    End of World
    Jesus Freak and proud of it
    Considering there was no undecided or none of the above, i chose this one. i think it's very stupid of them to do that, and im fourteen
  • Jay J 2011/10/02 11:47:16
    End of World
    Jay J
    OMG it has nothing to do with NYT!!
  • shywink 2011/10/02 10:16:01
    End of World
    shywink
    +1
    This is what happens when the world is run by twenty year old kids. It's one thing to do that sort of thing to liven up your email, but should NOT be done in a professional newspaper. It's just not classy or even "grown up" at all. Just my opinion.
  • david shiel 2011/10/02 09:44:08
    End of World
    david shiel
    pecker heads
  • mrdog 2011/10/02 09:20:08
    End of World
    mrdog
    Anything to sell print...bark
  • mybrutalromance 2011/10/02 08:46:06
    End of World
    mybrutalromance
    +2
    Why...why do it...doing this shows a lack of intelligence, I think. It also comes off quite unprofessional.
  • andrew 2011/10/02 08:17:09
    Awesome :)
    andrew
    great - communication for this century. - just a shame about your ownership
  • ruthannhausman 2011/10/02 07:23:36
    End of World
    ruthannhausman
    +1
    This is totally within expectation in view of the dumbing-down of our schools. More and more supposedly intelligent, educated people are being launched into the world totally lacking in writing skills. Use of shorthand on those little, hand-held telephones and computer-type gizmos is understandable due to the wish to convey a message in as short a time as possible. Therefore, some license should be given for that type of texting. But to utilize emoticons in the headlines of newspapers? Newspapers have sections we used to call "the funnies." That is where that type of thing belongs, not in the headlines which readers scan through to get their daily dose of news events.

    So, sorry, I have to say nix to this type of thing and let's start making sure that our teachers, from K through 12, all know the English language well enough to pass on good communication skills to their students.
  • BonnieDeutsch 2011/10/02 06:46:27
    End of World
    BonnieDeutsch
    I agree with whatever Larry saids.
  • Wrinkleranch 2011/10/02 04:35:42
    End of World
    Wrinkleranch
    +1
    What ever happened to good journalism.
  • Jacob M... Wrinkle... 2011/10/02 15:59:16
    Jacob Mahurien
    +1
    It died. Looooooooooooooooooong ago.
  • Wrinkle... Jacob M... 2011/10/03 03:58:47
    Wrinkleranch
    No kidding.
  • Moonbeams 2011/10/02 01:19:19
    End of World
    Moonbeams
    +1
    It's the end of the world as we know it..

    But I feel :)
  • Gray Pilgrim 2011/10/02 01:18:03
    End of World
    Gray Pilgrim
    +2
    emoticons are emotional representations... Journalism should be factual...
  • i quit 2011/10/02 00:29:46
    Awesome :)
    i quit
    I just like that Larry David called it.
  • JohnFitzgeral12 2011/10/02 00:15:43
    End of World
    JohnFitzgeral12
  • davidscrudolf 2011/10/01 23:27:14
    Awesome :)
    davidscrudolf
    I think it´s just a smart "Ask for atention" :)
  • Boo 2011/10/01 23:26:20 (edited)
    Awesome :)
    Boo
    Yeah, awesome, and cool...I say we move forward in time and evolve; Let's "Roll with the Changes" and leave those old moldy attitudes of Literary Snobery in the same place we left our horses and chariots. :D:D:D

    Oh - and btw, the demographics for this question at the time I anwered it are really interesting, the pattern is obvious:

    demographics sodahead education

    click on it for a larger view or click the book symbol in the demographics.
  • The Pot... Boo 2011/10/02 18:56:47
    The Potato Princess
    That is really interesting. Kind of the opposite of what I'd expect.
  • tebearcalvary 2011/10/01 23:21:50
    Awesome :)
    tebearcalvary
    +3
    isnt it just poking fun at the use of emoticons on twitter?
  • Anna E 2011/10/01 21:32:31
    Awesome :)
    Anna E
  • Freedom4 2011/10/01 20:27:11
    End of World
    Freedom4
    +1
    They have been far from a reputable news source for decades now, so not a big deal. At least they aren't even taking themselves any more.
  • Fisher 2011/10/01 20:03:46
    Awesome :)
    Fisher
    IMO it is awesome for young people because the text emoticons are 2nd nature to them due to their texting messages. Also, this will encourage more young people read the newspaper.

    The disadvantge is for "older" people like myself that we don't do much texting or on the web & chatroom too much; therefore we are not familiar with the text emoticons.

    Newspapers, magazines or any publications..these are for general public, therefore I don't think it is appropriate to use the emoticons.
  • AvaC 2011/10/01 20:03:28
    End of World
    AvaC
    As an aspiring Sports Journalist, this is disturbing to read. O.o
    Then again, the headline to that article is about Twitter. If this is a means of attracting young people to read the newspapers, it's a little too late for that. Most of them already know most, if not all, the tricks to Twitter. Also, I've never found the New York Times to be an appealing newspaper. We get copies here and well, I've read it a few times. Not very intriguing to say the least.
  • FictionalWriter 2011/10/01 19:58:09
    Awesome :)
    FictionalWriter
    I lost respect for your question after your statement of, "you know, that dinky little newspaper in that one random city." How "dinky" is over 800,000 copies in print each day, with more than a million on a Sunday? And how "random" is New York, where Broadway, Wall Street, and the Statue of Liberty try and hold their own each and every day?

    Being in print since 1851 with one hundred and six Pulitzer Prizes (the most of any news organization), I'm sure this "dinky" newspaper in that "random" *state* - not "city" - reserves the right to use an emoticon in the title of an article. No sense acting as if you've never even used one before.
  • SOM3RAN... Fiction... 2011/10/01 23:31:27
    SOM3RANDOMDUD3
    I think they were being sarcastic when they said "dinky" and "random"
  • Boo Fiction... 2011/10/01 23:35:46
    Boo
    You don't think that statement, "you know, that dinky little newspaper in that one random city" was so wonderfully sarcastic?!! That is all it was---a sarcastic remark. It was so obviously sarcastic. I mean, since when is NYC a random city that only a fraction of a handful people have everheard of? :D Same goes with the NY Times. The whole reason for them using that sarcastic remark in their question was to point out the fact that this newspaper in which this emoticon was used was NOT some random unheard of paper in some random unheard of town. :D
  • crabeyesluv1996 2011/10/01 19:06:43
  • Gabi Miličević 2011/10/01 18:13:06
    Awesome :)
    Gabi  Miličević
    thatss really cool :D
  • Michael S 2011/10/01 17:13:22
    Awesome :)
    Michael S
    I think its a good idea. Hopefully it will attract younger people and they will actually know what's going on in the world. But then again why would they want that?
  • S123 2011/10/01 15:18:20
    End of World
    S123
    Not the end of the world but I think it looks stupid. Even in chat rooms and message boards I don't think I have seen emoticons used to replace a word in a sentence (although people do use ;) to mean "just kidding") , I haven't seen anyone type something like "I'm :) today" maybe some people do that but I don't think it's common.
  • twhiting9275 2011/10/01 15:07:02
    Awesome :)
    twhiting9275
    Puhlease, this was an ISOLATED incident, DESIGNED specifically to stir up press and controversy. Congrats, you suckers fell for it.
  • Jenjenajenjen 2011/10/01 14:47:56
    End of World
    Jenjenajenjen
    Horrible! The Grammar Police is going to have to stop by NY soon.
  • Sister Jean 2011/10/01 14:34:51
    Awesome :)
    Sister Jean
    getting with the Times
  • harley oldman 2011/10/01 14:13:41
    End of World
    harley oldman
    +2
    "Good journalism" has BEEN over at NYT for years...!
  • Bigbrowneyes 2011/10/01 14:02:48
    End of World
    Bigbrowneyes
    +1
    Oh noooo, they lose credibility by being silly like that...
  • dandieselonian 2011/10/01 13:46:46
    End of World
    dandieselonian
    +1
    desperation most newspapers will fail and we all will get it from the net
  • sjalan 2011/10/01 13:16:38
    Awesome :)
    sjalan
    +1
    We are seeing the blending of the modern speak with traditional language. Makes sense since pictographs were the more common form of language in ancient times why not blend them.
  • Tannenberg1993 2011/10/01 12:44:04
    End of World
    Tannenberg1993
    +2
    Emoticons are supposed to help people, on-line, emphasize what their moods are as they speak. They are supposed to assist in the avoidance of misunderstandings, but professional writers shouldn't need them; this is just ridiculous.
  • Mike 2011/10/01 12:22:40
    End of World
    Mike

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