One of the biggest problems with communicating over the Internet is the lack of context--sarcasm and teasing are virtually undetectable, and can cause major miscommunication. However, emoticons--also called smileys--help add a touch of personalisation to your e-mail message. By adding a little image that is smiling, crying, sticking out its tongue or laughing, your recipient is able to better interpret what you're trying to say.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Yahoo! e-mail account
Go to the Yahoo! Mail website and sign in to your account. If you don't have a Yahoo! Mail account, you can sign up for one for no cost.
Fill in the sending details of your e-mail--image-based emoticons cannot be set in the subject of an e-mail, though you may include a text-based emoticon. See the tips for more about text-based emoticons.
Write the body of your e-mail. You can fill in emoticons as you go, or you can stop and add them to the body of text when you find it appropriate to do so.
Place your cursor at the spot in the email where you want to insert the emoticon image. For example, click the image of a yellow smiley face wearing sunglasses; this is located on your formatting bar to the right of your text formatting options.
Select your emoticon of choice by clicking it; this inserts the image directly into the body of the email where you have placed your cursor. You can add as many emoticons as you want to the body of your e-mail.
Tips and warnings
- You can add text emoticons to your e-mails in any program or word processing service. The most well-known text emoticon is the colon and right parenthesis, or :). You can use the left parenthesis to make a sad face, and even add an apostrophe in the middle to indicate tears, or :'(. The use of text emoticons is limited only by the function of your keyboard; a list of some more elaborate text emoticons is available under Resources.
- Yahoo! Instant Messenger also includes image emoticons to help you add a visual element to your online conversations.
- Adding an emoticon does not necessarily mean that what you've written won't be misinterpreted by your recipient. It's best to reread your e-mails for potential miscommunication before sending them.
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