Just from using SO, I have seen many direct/indirect comments about using smilies. I understand this is a (generally) serious site, but I was wondering just what are the rules/expectations on using textual emoticons, written or not? I generally don't go around using smilies on SO, but I find myself using (or keep myself from using) them sometimes.
I have looked for posts about emoticons and smilies and only found posts about making them pictures. So I was wondering if there was a written rule / post about expected behavior / an unspoken rule concerning the general use of smilies. I know it's not a ban-able offense or anything (I hope?) with moderate usage, and it's more "use them at your own discretion", but every so often I feel they can help 'enhance' a post, if it could be taken more than one way (rude/condescending vs trying to help).