Wednesday, September 19, 2007

September 19: Emoticon Day

On this date in 1982 at 11:44 a.m., Professor Scott E. Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University posted a historic message on an electronic bulletin board. The message read: "I propose the following sequence for joke markers: :-)." Fahlman claims he is the first to use the "smiley face," saying "I've never seen any hard evidence that the :-) sequence was in use before my original post, and I've never run into anyone who actually claims to have invented it before I did" (1).

To learn more about the history of the emoticon visit the Carnegie Mellon site.

Today's Challenge: Sideways Smiley Synthesis
With normal English words, you can turn to the known entities found in the dictionary, or you can coin your own. The same is true with emoticons. Visit MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger to see lists of the many emoticons that have evolved in the past 25 years. Then, use your own creativity to construct your own emoticon.

Quote of the Day: I often think there should exist a special typographical sign for a smile — some sort of concave mark, a supine round bracket, which I would now like to trace in reply to your question. --Vladimir Nabokov when asked, "How do you rank yourself among writers (living) and of the immediate past?


1- Lovering, Daniel. "Emonticons, It's Your Silver Anniversary." The Seattle Times 19 Sept. 2007: C-1.

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