# I can convey love or hate

I am something.
I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.
I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.
But I can be stopped
if my home is not asleep.

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.
Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.

The building blocks of me,
sometimes they're millions or billions in number.
Each of those blocks can be split further,
but not much further.

My name can consist of one
or of two, if you want to be technical.
What am I?

Hint 1:

My family name is usually at the end of my name.

Hint 2:

The (short) answer is a four-letter word.

Hint 3:

Sometimes, my actual family can't be deduced from what you see at the end of my name. That is, it is disguised. Such instances may be harmful.

• Has a correct answer been given? If so, please don't forget to $\color{green}{\checkmark \small\text{Accept}}$ it. If not, some responses to the answerers to help steer them in the right direction would be helpful. – Rubio Apr 3 '17 at 18:14
• It feels long long overdue for some responses to the many answers offered below, to guide the would-be solvers closer to the right direction. – Rubio Jan 24 '18 at 18:12
• Maybe you can give another hint giving the best answers up to now? – Untitpoi Jan 29 '18 at 14:44
• @Untitpoi There are 3 hints now. – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 14:48

You are

A file.

I am something.


Yes.

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.


You can see a file in a folder or desktop or whatever, but you may not be able to read it (it may be empty, it may be encrypted, it may be a type of file for which you have no application, and so on).

I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.


Yes, any type of feeling might be conveyed by the contents of a file, be it an image, a song, a film, or just written text in a document.

Sometimes, I can help you.


Some files are applications or valuable data, that can be quite helpful to you.

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.


Some files contain malware, viruses, or the like.

But I can be stopped
if my home is not asleep.


The "home" is the computer, which if it's not powered off or in sleep mode, can be used to stop an application from running or a file from being used.

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.


If you let a file be used, and it's a useful file, then it can be useful.

Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.


The "family" is the filetype - e.g. ".doc" / ".docx" for Word, ".zip" for archives, ".gif" / ".jpg" for graphics, and so on. Each type can have one or more applications associated with it which, when you try to open a file, the file is more or less literally put to that "utility" (application).

The building blocks of me,
sometimes they're millions or billions in number.


Files such as movies may be made up of millions or even billions of bytes.

Each of those blocks can be split further,
but not much further.


Bytes are comprised of bits, but you can't really divide things further than that.

My name can consist of one
or of two, if you want to be technical.


You might think of a file's name as the whole thing, or you might consider it as two parts - the base name plus the extension.

Hint 1:

My family name is usually at the end of my name.
The extension is usually always, really, at the end of the filename, if it is present; otherwise it's not an extension!

Hint 2:

The (short) answer is a four-letter word.
FILE

Hint 3:

Sometimes, my actual family can't be deduced from what you see at the end of my name. That is, it is disguised. Such instances may be harmful.
The extension, being part of the name, isn't always guaranteed to actually reflect the contents of the file itself. Also, many operating systems are, or can be, set up not to show file extensions, as it's usually redundant information already provided by the file's icon. But that opens the opportunity for someone to create an application that masquerades as an innocuous data file, tricking you into opening it to see what it contains and thus running the program instead. This is indeed quite often harmful.

• I think I have overhinted. – user_194421 Jan 30 '18 at 9:43

Are you:

heart

I am something.


A heart is something.

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.


You can see a heart, physically. But reading one's heart (intentions or feelings) is difficult.

I can convey love or hate


The heart is often referred to as where emotion resides.

or joy or sadness


Same as above.

or any feeling.


Same as above.

Sometimes, I can hurt you.


Having a broken heart hurts.

Sometimes, I can help you.


"Follow your heart!" is often used as encouragement or advice. Referring to the potential wisdom of not denying ones' feelings or desires.

Sometimes, I can kill you (muahaha)


Heart disease is the leading causes of death for men and women.

But I can be stopped.


Through medical means, or through death, the heart stops beating.

Don't do it by pulling my cord, it won't work.


"Pulling my heartstrings" is a common idiom referring to something inducing strong emotional feelings.

My name can consist of one


Emoji, such as ♥️, is a single character.

or of three


<3 has the number 3.

or of two, if you want to be technical


<3 also technically has two characters.

but not as technical as the previous.


<3 is a representation of the heart often used in text messaging or chatrooms.

• A little "far away". – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:27

Are you

A Screen

I am something.

A Screen is something

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

When a Screen is locked, you can see it but not read it.

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

A Screen can convey not express the feeling

Sometimes, I can hurt you. Sometimes, I can help you.

By the contents of the info relayed, both are possible

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep.

By locking the Screen

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually.

Screen can display useful info.

Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility.

Touch screens and normal screens vary in utility

My name can consist of one

Screen

or of two, if you want to be technical.

Touch screen

Edit:

changed the previous answer which is "phone" due to the hint given by ?Riddler?.

• Moving farther... (the previous answer was closer) – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 13:39

Are you

Alarm

I am something. I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read

Alarm is something, it can be seen but sometimes cannot be read if there's only number in there

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling

The alarm ringtone can be sad ringtone, joyful ringtone etc

It can help you to wake up or set some schedule

But, sometimes, I can hurt you

Can hurt your ear if the volume is too high or if it ring not on the right time (when you're on some serious talk)

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep

You cannot stop an alarm if your phone is in sleep mode (at least your home screen must be on)

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually

It can be quite useful to set a schedule

Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility

alarm clock, microwave alarm, fire alarm etc

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical. What am I?

alarm or alarm clock to be technical

Additional from the hint

The family name is alarm, usually it's on the end of the name (fire alarm, microwave alarm, car alarm

• Quite far away. – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 13:38

Are you :

A bacteria

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

Bacterias can be seen in microscopes but have sometimes difficult names

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

Some articles like this one show that bacterias may influence the brain

Sometimes, I can help you. But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

Some bacterias are actually good for the health while others are bad

Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility.

Bacterias are classified by their family, which I guess, have different goals

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical.

In the common language we use easy terms to describe them but experts are more likely to use their latin names

I hope my explanations are understable and my words adapted (greetings from France!).

• Yeah... Please make sure to expand this; answers that don't explain how it fits the lines in the question are usually deleted, so make sure to edit them in ASAP! – Mithical Jan 29 '18 at 14:27
• Quite far away. – user_194421 Jan 30 '18 at 9:43

Are you

Yes

I am something.

Yes or S

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

Sometimes we can nod our head instead of saying Yes

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

Our feeling will get reflected in the tone of how we say Yes

Sometimes, I can hurt you.

Sometimes an answer Yes from someone can hurt you based on the situation.

Sometimes an answer Yes from someone can help you based on the situation.

Sometimes, I can kill you (muahaha)

If the girl you proposed say YES all of a sudden, you may get died of heart failure ;)

But I can be stopped.

Don't do it by pulling my cord, it won't work.

My name can consist of one

S

or of three

Yes

or of two, if you want to be technical

Ss

but not as technical as the previous.

Yes is more technically correct

What am I?

Yes or S

• It's still far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:30

Are you...

I?

I am something. I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read. I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

Pretty straightforward.

Sometimes, I can hurt you. Sometimes, I can help you. Sometimes, I can kill you (muahaha)

Also pretty straightforward, but I can be the scientific IODINE. IODINE can hurt, help and IODINE is deathly, in particular IODINE-131.

But I can be stopped. Don't do it by pulling my cord, it won't work.

Not sure

My name can consist of one or of three or of two, if you want to be technical but not as technical as the previous. What am I?

Maybe referring to a name. I am .. I, Bo, TJ, or just Kim (1, 2 and 3 characters. Might also be First name, Second name and Last name.

• Not very close to the answer. – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:28

Are you a :

Newspaper

I am something.


Newspaper is something.

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.


Newspapers can be seen, but sometimes not read due to some disturbing or horrific news.

I can convey love or hate


Love a person, hate a politician

or joy or sadness


the sports page :)

or any feeling.


All kinds of news are present.

Sometimes, I can help you.


It keeps us updated and many job advertisements are there on a newspaper.

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.


Bad news once again.

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep


If you don't stop me,I can be quite useful actually.


A newspaper is of course useful.

Depending on my family,you can usually put me to some utility.


Not sure about the family part(once again), but the newspaper can be used later like a duster.

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical.


It is newspaper, but composed of the two words news and paper.

• Quite far away. – user_194421 Jan 30 '18 at 9:42

Could you just be a

word

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read

as a word written in a foreign language or using a foreign alphabet couldt'n be read by everyone

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical.

there you have obviously the word, the second one being its definition, to be let's say more technical

• Not too close, but not too far – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:31

Are you:

A Glance?

I am something.

Yes

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

A glance can be seen but you might not understand / read what it means

I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.

With just a glance, yes.

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

Depends of the kind of the glance.

But I can be stopped
if my home is not asleep.

When you're daydreaming, you're glancing into emptiness?

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.
Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.

Not sure - eye scan for security?

My name can consist of one

A glance, yes only one

or of two, if you want to be technical.

With a pair of eyes, which makes it two.

What am I?

A glance

• It's still far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:32

Are you

a dream?

I am something.

A dream is something

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

You see your dreams, but can't always understand or interpret them.

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

A dream can contain any kind of emotion, and one might dream of something they love or something they hate.

A dream can be something to aim for, or a daydream can distract you (in a good way).

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

A bad dream can scare or upset you, or a daydream can distract you (in a bad way).

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep.

You can stop a daydream, but can't really stop a dream when you're asleep.

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually. Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility.

? I guess that you can dream of future goals or plans or nice things, or you can daydream to pass the time.

My name can consist of one

Dream

or of two, if you want to be technical.

Either dream / daydream, or dream / nightmare. Or maybe good dream / bad dream

• A little far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:31
I am something.


face / facial expression

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.


"face reading" is the pseudoscience of physiognomy

I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.


Ich verstehe das nicht. Warum sollte ein Gesicht Emotionen zeigen?

Sometimes, I can help you.


smiling, for instance, makes you appear friendlier and thus can improve your social standing

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.


if you express an inappropriate emotion for the occasion - frowning on a first date or smiling at a funeral; a face can hurt literally, too.

But I can be stopped
if my home is not asleep.


a person can control her or his voluntary muscle movements only when awake; babies may smile in their sleep

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.
Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.


facial expressions, especially if you can control them, are useful and important for non-verbal communication and projecting the desired impression

My name can consist of one
or of two, if you want to be technical.


words

• It's still far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:32

You are

Emotion

I am something.

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

You can see emotion in someones face, but sometimes it's hard to read someones emotion

I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.

Basically what an emotion expresses

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

Some emotions give us the strenght to deal with a situation, like fear. And some emotions hurt us, like heartache

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep.

I guess you have to take this one literally. If you are asleep, you can't stop your emotions, like in dreams or nightmares.

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.
Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.

Same explanation like above. Some emotions can bring us forward in the right situation

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical.

you can express emotions via emoji or emoticon, technically

• A little far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:31

Are you

Oil

I am something.

Oil is a physical thing, not an idea or concept.

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read. I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

An oil painting is something that can be seen but often have no words so it cannot be read. A painting can convey many emotions, including love, hate, joy, and sadness.

Sometimes, I can help you. But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

Crude oil products can be very beneficial to society for powering engines, fueling lanterns, etc. However, oil spills can devastating to the environment. Skin oils serve have a function on our bodies, but can cause skin conditions if not maintained properly.

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep.

Not sure about this one, but if an engine (which is oil's "home") is running (awake), then oil will become more viscous and eventually clog the filter.

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually. Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility.

Again, crude oil products have a lot of uses. And this "family" of oils can be used for many utilities, such as producing electricity.

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical.

Oil can be pronounced with one syllable (ol) or two (o-yal) depending on your accent.

• It's still far away – user_194421 Jan 27 '18 at 17:29
I am something.


a receiver+microphone (or earplugs+microphone)

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.


it cannot be "read" when speaking too quietly or in a noisy environment

I can convey love or hate
or joy or sadness
or any feeling.
But, sometimes, I can hurt you.


depending on what's being said

But I can be stopped
if my home is not asleep.


On a mobile you may have to interact with the UI to stop the mic. If it's "asleep" (screen gone off) that might not be possible.

If you don't stop me,
I can be quite useful actually.
Depending on my family,
you can usually put me to some utility.


"always on" speech recognition

My name can consist of one
or of two, if you want to be technical.
Hint 1: My family name is usually at the end of my name.


Landlines used to have a receiver+microphone, these days mobile phones have an optional earplug+microphone. In either case it's technically two words and the "home" is the phone.

Why did I change my answer so drastically?

The original poster commented on all answers. I read them and I was puzzled by the fact that some contain an explanation for "Don't do it by pulling my cord, it won't work." and "My name can consist [...] of three". I looked up the history and found this change.

• A little far, but there's an explanation which is near. – user_194421 Jan 28 '18 at 12:34

new suggestion, could you be a

smiley

also known as an

emoticon

?

• It's far away from answer – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 10:19

Are you

A ringtone

I am something. I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read.

There I've no strong explanation

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling.

you can choose a music as a ringtone so it can carry a lot of emotions to you

an alarm waking you up for example

But, sometimes, I can hurt you.

a ringtone during a meeting can hurt you and your carrier

But I can be stopped if my home is not asleep.

Most of the ringtone can be stopped with a finger movement on the phone screen (some can even be stopped when the phone screen is black so i'm not sure about this one)

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually. Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility.

This could be about a phone call or an alarm reminder.

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical. What am I?

You can say either a ringtone or a ring tone

Hint

For the hint part, family names could point to the categories of ringtones (alarms, phonecalls, text...) I have to admit that the "family name" is unclear in my answer.

• It's still far away – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 11:02

reading that a screen was a close answer I would like now suggest

a keyboard

or , to be more technical

a computer keyboard

• A point correct, but overall far away – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 13:35
• The close answer was not a screen, it was edited. – user_194421 Jan 29 '18 at 13:44

OK. I don't know if I should edit the answer or create a new one You are

Chip

I can be seen, but sometimes cannot be read

Chip can be seen but sometimes it cannot be read eg. when broken

I can convey love or hate or joy or sadness or any feeling

Basically chip can be use to create a word which make it CAN convey a feeling

Sometimes, I can help you. But, sometimes, I can hurt you

Chip can be useful to create computer, microwave and such but can be harmful if you get electrostatic discharge or radiation from it

But I can be stopped. If my home is not asleep

Not really sure about this but maybe you referring to OS shutdown which in turn stopping the chip or the diode for stopping electric current

If you don't stop me, I can be quite useful actually

A chip can be use as amplifier, oscillator, timer, counter, computer memory, or microprocessor if you not "stopping" it.

Depending on my family, you can usually put me to some utility

Depending of a chip families you can put the chip to microwave, timer and such

The building blocks of me, sometimes they're millions or billions in number.
Each of these blocks can be split further, but not much further

This one is referring to chip structure which is the memory blocks

My name can consist of one or of two, if you want to be technical

Integrated Circuit or chip