As a result of recent high-profile litigations and libel rulings, the Emoticons™ have been forced to cease trading as of today. At their peak (during one particularly heated text-based conversation between two teenage girls from Brighton in 2009), Emoticons™ were trading at £ 75 per share on FTSE 100 index. The Official Receiver issued this statement: 'The Courts have ruled that a ‘nod’ really is as good as a ‘wink'.
From this point on, all sentences will end with an abrupt exclamation mark (!) to ensure clarity of statement. Laughter will only be expressed verbally, as both LOL and ROFL have been forced into an early retirement. An Emoticons™ spokesmen said: '(?_?) and (>//<),' followed by '(Ç_Ç).'