The may be looking more like this :/ these days, now that it’s hit its thirtieth birthday, but the humble symbol that has made our online communication that much more clear should be thrilled it’s still so popular today.
Scott E. Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University birthed the symbol at 11:44 a.m., September 19, 1982 with the following message:
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:
Though many of us routinely use the smiley face or some variant thereof, you may notice the nose; a study out of Stanford University recently revealed that those who use the nose and those who don’t also tend to have a different online vocabulary with the younger, noseless crowd preferring abbreviations like “omg” and Justin Bieber references.
(Note to self: Start using noses.)
This is only one aspect of the biography of our beloved emoticon examined by Jen Doll at The Atlantic, though, so be sure to check out the full article and throw a few extras into your communications. After all, in the immortal words of Annie, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile,” and who wants to be sending out naked e-mails?
Wait, don’t answer that.
Emoticon history.Author on Google+