Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under Legal Theory

Jim Dedman, posting from Abnormal Use, points us to Jim Dedman, posting from the North Carolina Law Blog, asking if emoticons can beat the hearsay rule:

Carole Gailor of Raleigh, North Carolina recently spoke at a North Carolina Bar Association conference on the rules of evidence as applied to electronically generated information. […] Ms. Gailor noted that an emoticon might, in fact, assist in the analysis of whether a digital piece of evidence is admissible.

As a preliminary matter, we could turn to Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary or the like to find a formal definition of the term “emoticon.” But that’s not really necessary, is it? But everyone knows that they are the little smiley or frowny faces – or sometimes far more complex textual graphics – utilized by writers on the Internet to convey all sorts of present emotions.

But why bother with a lay definition? A number of courts have already tackled the term.

This is a fun little read; I had no idea 26 court cases have used the word emoticon. Presumably, a court wouldn’t bother to use the word unless the case turned on it.

The rest of the article is a fun thought exercise on why your texting should be as dour as possible. Seriously! :)