Down through the ages man has communicated in many ways. From the most rudimentary manor of a simple grunt while dragging a hank of hair and a bag of bones into a cave to today’s ceaseless use of texting. The grunt may have produced some form of emotion, a meaning only known to the creature with the sloping forehead and possibly his mate, or as we say in this PC world, his significant other.
This started me thinking about the wide range of emotions humans express, especially those that easily distort the face. While fingers are flying on mini keyboard the recipient has no idea of the full meaning until the message ends with one of those handy little emoticons. And, there are dozens to choose from. And more on the horizon, no doubt.
Now for a brief history lesson.
The use of emoticons can be traced back to the 19th century, and they were commonly used in casual and humorous writing.
Creation of 🙂 and 😦
Scott Fahlman was the first documented person to use the emoticons 🙂 and :-(, with a specific suggestion that they be used to express emotion. The text of his original proposal, posted to the Carnegie Mellon University computer science general board on 19 September 1982 (11:44), was thought to have been lost, but was recovered 20 years later by Jeff Baird from old backup tapes.
19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman 🙂
From: Scott E Fahlman
I propose that the following character sequence for happy:
Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark
things that are sad, given current trends. For this, use
Now WP actually inserted the Smiley faces where there there was a colon, dash and parentheses in the article.
Then there is the emote which is an entry in a text-based chat client that indicates an action taking place. Unlike emoticons, they are not text art, and instead describe the action using words. (Not sure you needed to know that).
So I ask you, when was the last time you had a face-off, an actual conversation – for better or worse – with a friend, foe or significant other?
We’re not counting SKYPE.
We text to each other at the dinner table, in the theater, in class, even in church, God forbid. All this is legal, unlike the very common practice of texting and driving which is a crime in some states and the cause of multiple crashes.
Now what do those irritating little smiley faces have to say?
I wonder if there is an “I hate emoticons” emoticon. Silly me.
Is there a point to all this, you decide my grandson is sending me a text.
- Creating pictures with Skype emoticons (randomfactsandallthingsfamousfive.wordpress.com)