Eish!!: The 25th anniversary of the Smiley

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The 25th anniversary of the Smiley

Twenty five (and two days) years ago Scott Fahlman 'invented' the smiley, :-) something that has become well and truly entrenched in popular culture. According to various sources here's the actually bulletin board (remember those) post that saw the birth of the smiley.

17-Sep-82 10:58 Neil Swartz at CMU-750R Elevator posts Maybe we should adopt a convention of putting a star (*) in the subject field of any notice which is to be taken as a joke.

17-Sep-82 14:59 Joseph Ginder at CMU-10A (*%) I believe that the joke character should be % rather than *.

17-Sep-82 15:15 Anthony Stentz at CMU-780G (*%) How about using * for good jokes and % for bad jokes? We could even use *% for jokes that are so bad, they're funny.

17-Sep-82 17:40 Keith Wright at CMU-10A *%&#$ Jokes! No, no, no! Surely everyone will agree that "&" is the funniest character on the keyboard. It looks funny (like a jolly fat man in convulsions of laughter). It sounds funny (say it loud and fast three times). I just know if I could get my nose into the vacuum of the CRT it would even smell funny!

17-Sep-82 17:42 Leonard Hamey at CMU-10A {#} (previously *) ...I think that the joke character should be the sequence {#} because it looks like two lips with teeth showing between them. This is the expected result if someone actually laughs their head off...

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 :-(

It is thought that a guy called Kevin Mackenzie may have first used -) to denote 'tongue in cheek' as early as 1979 but as far as I have been able to ascertain, this is unsubstantiated.

Since then even Eishman has succumbed and used the smiley way too many times and various derivatives have evolved :
:D  (Smiling)
=) (Smiling)
;] (Winking)
:] (Neutral Expression)
:/ (Partial half smile)
:( (Frowning)
:'( (Crying)
:-) (Smiley with nose)
:o (Talking)
<:o) (party smile) :p (Poking his tongue out)
(for a more comprehensive list click here)

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