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25 years of smileys online :)

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday March 15, 2007 )

Where would we be without smileys? No doubt many email and other forms of text communications would be misunderstood. After all, writing “you’re an idiot :)” has a different meaning to writing “you’re an idiot” – the latter leaves you hanging as to whether the author meant it literally.

Smileys in the online world are popularly credited to have originated in September 1982, courtesy of Professor Scott Fahlman at Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Computer Science. Scott put forward the idea of using a smiley in subject lines of humorous bulletin board topics. Ah, bulletin boards (Michael’s eyes cloud over in nostalgia).

You can enrich your life further by learning more about the history of the smiley here.

Since the original smiley was first used, a whole slew of variations signifying other emotions and states of being have been introduced.

For example, do you know what the following signify?

< :-l While it won't help you win friends and influence people; nor add a single dollar to your bottom line, if you're curious about what these smileys mean, you can decipher these and others in my smileys and textspeak dictionary.

If you have any to add, post them in this thread (as long as they aren’t obscene) and I’ll add them to the dictionary :).

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