“Smiley” Emoticon Turns 25

September 18th, 2007 by Benj Edwards

Smiley Emoticon Turns 25According to the Associated Press, the smiley emoticon, i.e. :-), turns twenty-five years old tomorrow. Scott E. Fahlman created and introduced the symbol on a Carnegie Mellon BBS in a message dated 11:44 AM on September 19, 1982. The online world has been littered with the smiley and its prolific progeny ever since.

Although I have friends that swear off emoticons, I am definitely guilty of ample smiley usage over the last fourteen years. I typically use the concatenated, sans-nose version, :), which is quicker to type. The smiley is an important, albeit understated, tool for easing tensions during heated discussions, or for simply conveying a bit of happiness through a text-based digital medium. Interestingly enough, Fahlman first proposed the smiley as a way to denote jokes in a discussion about online humor. You can read Fahlman’s original message on Carnegie Mellon’s Smiley website.

The Smiley Family

In tribute to the birth of the smiley, I present to you now a thoroughly incomplete list of smileys plucked from the wilds of the Internet. Check out “The Canonical Smiley List” if you’d like to see more.

The Basic Smileys
    :-)     The standard smiley
    :-(     Sad smiley
    ;-)     Winking smiley
    :-P     Sticking tongue out
    8-)     Cool smiley wearing shades
    :-o     Shocked smiley
    :-D     Big grin
Some Caricatures
    =):-)    Uncle Sam
    :-)B     Dolly Parton
    :-.)     Madonna
    :/7)     Cyrano de Bergerac
       )     Cheshire Cat
     o-)     Cyclops
    =:o]     Bill Clinton
    B-|      Batman
    =*0      Felix the Cat
Specialized Smileys
    /:-)     With a beret
    d:-)     With a baseball hat
    {:-)     Hair parted down the middle
    }:-)     With toupee in an updraft
    (-)      Needs a haircut
    `:-)     One eyebrow raised
    %-\      Hungover
    %*@:-(   So hungover my head hurts...
    X-(      Just died

Feel free to share your own favorite smileys with us. Keep in mind, though, that this blog software intercepts certain smileys and turns them into little yellow graphical faces.

9 Responses to ““Smiley” Emoticon Turns 25”

  1. Kitsunexus Says:

    I’m a fan of the Asian-esque emtiocons more, lemme find that text (apologies in advance is the format screws this up):

    //enhanced emotiocons\

    (^_^) smiley
    (^.^) see above, but rather than a wide, closed mouth, a small mouth is present (the dot can also be a nose)
    (~_~) annoyed or sleepy
    (`_^) or (^_~) wink
    (>___,(>^_^)>, etc. Kirby, often repeated to indicate dancing
    or [(¬_¬)] focused at a particular person with ear-phones
    ( ~^_^)~ dancing
    (9ò_ó)-o fighting, throwing a punch
    ( >^( >*.*)> humping
    /¯\_/°^_^°\_/¯\ Sailor Moon (extensible)
    w-(‘u’)-w Kilroy was here (extensible)
    (u.u) duh, sarcastic “what do you think?” face
    p(^o^)q Good luck
    (^^ .)\// Peace
    m m Kitten

  2. Kitsunexus Says:

    I usually type those without the parentheses, but that’s my own personal preference.

  3. jgoreham Says:

    I appreciate the anime-esque smilies, but in practicum, use the nose-less smiley variants.

    Can’t say I have much practical use for it, but the Ronald Reagan smiley from the ‘canonical list’ there catches my eye!


  4. Geoff V. Says:

    Anime style emotiocons alway piss me off for some reason. However the kilroy that Kitsune has is a personal favorite of mine.

  5. Kitsunexus Says:

    I love to piss you off, Geoff. ^___^

  6. Geoff V. Says:

    You are pretty good at it. I hope the image below come out. If not, I will leave you with a a different smiley.

    ! !
    ! !
    ! !
    ! !
    —-! !—-
    —-! ! ! !
    ! ! ! ! ! —
    ! ! ! ! ! / !
    ! ! / !
    ! !/ /
    ! /
    ! /
    ! /
    ! /

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    Yikes. I saw that one, Geoff. No need to fight, guys.

  8. Geoff V. Says:

    Oh well,
    That didn’t work.

    :-[ 8o Guy after taking a cold shower.


  9. Kitsunexus Says:

    LOL Geoff, I was just messing with you. Dear god man, get a sense of humor.

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