- a blizzard of emoticons which, of course, is ironic as emoticons arrive suddenly en masse creating anything other than a white out. In fact, they are as much a blizzard as the dancing, singing participants in a flash-mob are a blizzard. Or as the friends who leap out from behind the furniture at a surprise party are a blizzard. Or as the wasps who sense there is a sticky platter of barbecued chicken in the garden are a blizzard. So, perhaps, not a blizzard then. Not a blizzard at all.
- a barricade of emoticons making it impossible to pass linguistically from intended message to comprehension due to the wall created when your brain switches off as your eyes become bogged down trying to decipher the partially blocked message bludgeoned beneath the barrier of emoticons.
- a glut of emoticons which reflects their excessive, unwanted, intrusive, unintelligible and entirely overly abundant supply. Too many adverbs again? An adverb glut perhaps.
- a tureen of emoticons, evoking emoticon soup, which is what my brain turns into when faced with crammed lines of silly icons, which are meant to be telling me a story but are instead giving me eye strain as a struggle to determine if that is tears or sweat or a face drenched in rain. Or whether the cat is smiling or grimacing or might it be a frown. And if the angry man is being angry ironically. Or not.
- an asylum of emoticons, which is my favourite and where I think they belong. Asylum or zoo? Or is that too harsh. Am I turning into the curmudgeon that I dread becoming - the cliche of an intolerant older person? An older person somewhat overwhelmed by technology. And irritated that every time I imagine I've caught up, it - the technology - races off into the ether again. And again, I give chase, but each time the race restarts, my pursuit is slower than the time before. Which is why we have children - to fix things when we accidentally delete something, to show us how to cloud share, and to say "silly you" when we say we've forgotten how to do something so basic that we spend half an hour making it sound far more complicated than it is, before finally admitting to ourselves that it was indeed something that we once knew how to do but that, what with all this trying to keep up, we have now forgotten, and could they just do it for us. And maybe remind us how to organise our files while they're at it.