I know that writing emails and such can be impersonal. It's often hard to convey tone, intent, a smile you had when you typed...these things just don't usually go so well in electronic form.
So we have the smiley face. :). Meant, it seems, to soften any email - let the reader know that you were in fact kidding, not just being rude...that it's a sarcastic comment, nothing outright mean.
Trouble is, now I can't get away from it. When I try to go without, I get comments. Yet I still feel so cheesy every time I type one in...as if I'm dotting my eyes with hearts or making dramatic curly-cues with my name in cursive. I am not an eighth-grader anymore, but the smiley sure makes me feel like one. I don't know what else to use though. I know that I come across poorly sometimes, but I rarely if ever mean to, usually I'm joking along too. I swear! I'm the kid that someone would tease, and when I then pretended to act offended or roll my eyes, the teaser tried to apologize. It takes a very great deal to really offend me, just so you all know. I spent the entire first 15 years of my life getting crap for being smart and wearing glasses and the like. So I'm pretty much ready for whatever you got.
But back to the smiley...damn thing has me cornered. And DO NOT even get me started on the new-fangled smileys that convey a range of emotions...I pretty much hate those too...even more than the normal smileys.