alarming social trends alert.. :-(
In the same way that emoticons have wormed their way into the
written word.. ; ] .. they are now worming their way back out of
it, and into the spoken word.
For instance.. you might say to someone, "I love this song like I
love fresh, hot pancakes! (*wink*!)"
..And you would actually say the (*wink*!)... in a twinkly,
"bing!"-ing voice.. conveying the same evil, pre-manufactured cheeriness
as the disturbing microsoft/AOL(t)(c)(r) emoticons that bombard you
in every RTF/HTML chat or email program that you innocently try
to use without being cheerily bombarded.
It makes me sad.. like someone stealing grandma's fresh-baked
apple pie.. (*frowny*).