I have now tried the strikout method, and I think my idea of smilies is better.
Strikeout is not available as a button; you have to know how to do it.
It involves quite a lot of typing, whereas a smilie can be put with a single click.
The result is not easy to read.
It doesn't give a way to say 'this is correct', only 'this is wrong'.
If we had, say, a green tick smilie for 'this is correct' and a red cross for 'this is wrong', I think it would be very easy for people to see what they mean and how to use them; and it would be really useful in writing instructional posts.
So I would like to see my suggestion implemented. I had a quick look at the vBulletin FAQs, and I think it should be possible. I will ask Mike.
While we are at it, it would also be useful to have smilies to indicate informal and potentially offensive usage. The Collins-Robert French-English Dictionary has an excellent code which goes like this:
* - expression is not part of the standard language, is used by all educated speakers in a relaxed situation, but would not be used in a formal essay or letter, or where the speaker wishes to impressSo my next idea would be to have a smilie to play the role of '*'. Perhaps some form of exclamation mark?
** - expression is used by some but not all speakers in a very relaxed situation. Such words should be handled with extreme care by the non-native speaker
*** - means 'Danger!' Such words are liable to offend in any situation, and therefore are to be avoided by the non-native speaker.
Alternatively, one could three smilies, one for each level; but I think that would be harder to establish as an understood convention.