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Ian Rankin tickles fans as he swaps words with emoji in newspaper letter

The writer’s latest published work made an ironic point about the effect of social media on literacy, and it was not lost on his fans.

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Ian Rankin.

Ian Rankin.

Ian Rankin.

Author Ian Rankin has tickled his fans by joining the social media trend of writing in emoji symbols.

He included the yellow symbol of a sad face in his latest work, a newspaper reader’s letter decrying the effects of social media on literature.

In the letter submitted to The Times newspaper, he wrote: “Sir, I read with interest Howard Jacobson’s remarks (News, Aug 21) on how social media and its conventions will kill literacy within a generation.

“All I can say is (sad face emoji).

“Ian Rankin – Edinburgh”.

The Rebus creator shared a photo of his latest work on Twitter, and the irony was not lost on his fans.

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Craig Pittman teased: “Fine work. Next, an entire novel told only in emoji,” while Jo Caulfield replied: “Beautiful! :-)”

Others joked that the award-winning novelist should venture into professional writing following his newspaper feature.

Michele McKenzie replied: “You’ve made it,” and Shirley Dobson suggested: “You obviously have the knack; have you considered a move into literature…

But his comments were taken more seriously by some, who added to his point about literacy levels especially in children’s education.

Angie Kennedy said: “Absolutely & totally agree with you Ian, been saying it for a while now as so many kids can’t spell basic words let alone more complex ones.”


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