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I've seen a lot of people who believe that OwO and UwU are verbalized interjections, and it just struck me that it might be because the ^_^ style of emoticon has gotten so rare that people aren't used to parsing them as faces any more.

(I mean, I'm a descriptivist: OwO and UwU have also clearly become verbalized interjections. But AFAIK they originated as non-pronounced faces.)

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