Simple typography that started out as a colon, dash, and parenthesis has now grown up and blossomed into a massive array of features, moods, and gestures. Who would have thought that a happy face could ever lead to rock horns \m/, or tongue-tied :-&, or just a simple heart <3?
This week, the emoticon turns 30.
In was on September 19, 1982 that Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott Fahlman first typed out the emoticon happy face on an online computer science board, according to Carnegie Mellon.
This is precisely what he wrote:
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
The idea caught on and spread to other universities and eventually to the rest of the Web. And not only did it spread, it morphed into hundreds of different emotions, like grumpy, drunk, and embarrassed. There are even impersonator emoticons, like Elvis, John Lennon, and Homer Simpson, and they’re found on Gmail, the iPhone, and most other typeface platforms.
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