I've been very quiet the last several weeks as I have been wrestling with a long-standing inner conflict of mine. I have scoured my soul and I now know my mind. I am ready to make my public statement about...
[ominous fan fare in background]
ending a parenthetical statement with the smiley face icon.
Often, I want to soften a strong statement or add some context to a comment by putting a self-deprecating or explanatory comment with terminal smiley face in parentheses at the end of the sentence (as if my sentences aren't long enough :-))
See!!! See the problem? Is that Mike smiling inside parentheses or is it Mike with a double chin?
I sometimes solve it by using an em dash instead of the parentheses--in this case a double hyphen, but that sometimes offsets the contextualizing comment too much :-)
So I've decided to let the smiley face icon serve as both a smile and a closing parenthesis (thus saving ink in these oh must be so green days :-)
At any rate, problem solved for me.
BTW, went to the Atlanta STC Currents conference this weekend. Wow, I like my chapter.