Over the last decade, Emoticons and Smileys have gained massive popularity all over the Internet. They're widely used in all areas of online communication: Forums, Emails, Instant Messaging and so on. Emoticons are literally everywhere, you just can't avoid them.
Here is a little history lesson on how Smileys and Emoticons were created.
Since the dawn of communication between man there have been many symbols, codes and punctuation used to communicate emotions and feelings difficult to represent through text. Early examples can be seen in Morse code abbreviations from the 1850's and print publications in the early 1900's.
There is no clear date as to when the first emoticon was used nor is it clear who really invented the first emoticon. It is however generally accepted that the common sideways smiley face in use today was invented by Scott Fahlman in 1982.
On the morning of September 19, 1982, the use of the first smiley face and frowning face emoticons was proposed by research professor Scott E. Fahlman, from the department of computer science at the
In his message, Professor Fahlman originally suggested the use of this emoticon :-) after funny and humorous posts on the message board and the use of this emoticon :-( for every thing else that was not meant to be funny and all serious remarks. The frowning face emoticons used today are meant as an indication of anger and sadness instead. Here is a copy of his original post:
<19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :)
From: Scott E Fahlman
I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:
Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are NOT jokes - given current trends. For this, use
Not long after, dozens of variations were being created and used on boards across the Internet. Nowadays, thousands of text and graphical emoticons are in use and everyday more are being created and circulated on the web worldwide. You can download a countless number of free emoticons from our website, just head over to the emoticons homepage and take your pick.
It is said that in 1979, Kevin Mackenzie for the first time suggested the use of emoticons in the dry text. On an Internet bulletin board at MSGGROUP he wrote about using a hyphen and an inward bracket to picture a tongue-in-cheek like this -). Although his suggestion was not received well at the time, it later became popular and more widely used.
The very first yellow Smiley Face was created by Harvey Ball in1963. He was hired by an insurance company to design a face to be used on buttons and cards in order to raise employee morale. It is noted that it took him 10 minutes to create the design, earning a $45 fee.
The Smiley gained huge popularity in the following years, becoming an international icon by the 1970's and securing a place in pop culture for the coming decades.
The growth of the Internet and the development of modern computer image formats allowed the Smiley to move online, cementing a place in Internet culture. Hundreds of thousands of graphical smileys have been created for Internet use, many of them animated. While the original smiley was all about happiness and creating a smile, all sorts of smileys are in use today. Even though the Smiley came to life some two decades before the Emoticon, there is no evidence that the creation of the first text emoticons were influenced by the Smiley.
While there have been some legal issues surrounding the Smiley, it's worth noting that other than his $45 fee,
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