I use a lot of 🙂 and 😉 or =D though not that one as much where I know screen reader users are reading because it doesn’t say anything but equals D lol. I use a lot of lol or LOL or haha and hehe. I’ve always done this when writing emails or in chat or on Facebook, and here in the blog, because its so hard to convey tone through text.
I remember just after I went blind, someone from the mental health forum called me, and she said I sound just like I type. I can only assume she means because when I talk, I naturally laugh, not because when I talk on the phone I actually say lol or smilie hahaha!
It became apparent to me last night, that this sort of thing is even more important using a screen reader. Alex sounds very human, but he also still sounds very deadpan. Are you a fan of Mitch Hedberg? Did I spell his name right? Anyway, I love him, and part of his delivery is deadpan, which makes his jokes all the funnier. But when it comes to comedians, you know they’re being funny. Not necessarily so when listening with a screen reader. Alex sounds a lot like Mitch Hedberg when I’m reading something funny, and I often think its that which makes things even funnier.
Let me see if I can think of some examples. Like, when my friend says hi on the messenger, he’ll say “hey”. This sounds very non excited, like you’d say hey to someone you’re not too happy to see. If he says “hey!” there is the smallest of difference, but I don’t have Alex announcing punctuation, so I can never be too sure there is an exclamation point, unless I interact with the text.
If my friend is teasing me on messenger and says something like, “I can’t believe you go to bed at 8, you’re such a loser” and she doesn’t put a smilie or a haha, I might think she’s actually judging me, even though I know she’s just teasing. But, I know her, so its not necessary to add the haha or hehe.
But I learned last night that its important for me to add something to convey the tone of my messages. If I say “why are we being nuts about this?” and a screen reader reads that, its going to sound very deadpan. I should say “LOL! Why are we being so nuts about this haha” it comes across so differently.
I’m writing this because there are times when I think I’m doing 🙂 or haha or LOL too much, but its really important in my opinion, to help convey tone, so I’m not gonna think I do it too much anymore. So hahahaha and hehehehehe and lol!
On to wondering if I should be more than R. When I first started this blog, I had no idea if I’d keep up with it, or ef anyone would read, so I just slapped R on it because I didn’t want to use my name, and still don’t. But just R? I really notice it when someone links to me in their post, or refers to me in a comment. It’ll be like “I had the idea to write this because of something ‘link’ R said.” Ick. Just R. Or if someone replies to a comment and they have to just write, “thanks R”. LOL! Am I getting neurotic about this? I even thought about assigning a name to B. So he’s not just B. So, on the old mental health forum, I went by Raynaadi. Its a screenname I came up with forever ago. People nicknamed me Ray or Ray Ray, but that was never a favorite. So I thought about just changing it to Ro. Ro Laren, a Cardassian from Star Trek TNG. Show off my geekiness lol. And then I thought B could be bo. How corney. Ro and Bo. Better than R and B.
So what do you all think, should I be more than R?
Oh, I’m feeling a tad better today. Just got that last vestige of sick, the occasional sneeze and cough. Might leave the house tomorrow, knock on wood.