Ilse's weblog of random thoughts

Happy birthday Mr. Smiley

27 years ago, Scott Fahlman used the smiley 🙂 for the first time in an electronic message board! But emoticons are in fact much older. It seems there existed a morse code for ‘love and kisses’ in the middle of the 19th century, and a smiling mouth, typed like \__/, followed by an exclamation mark, was used in satirical writings by the end of the same century.

Everyone knows the common emoticons like 🙂 and :-(, which have to be read by turning your face to the left, but there is also another style of smileys, commonly used in Asia, buy also in gaming, and although they usually take up more characters, they can be read normally. I have to admit that it took me awhile before realising that the ^_^ that sometimes appear in the chat messages of pick up groups in WoW, are kind of abbreviations of the Asian style smiling emoticon (^_^). Well, I guess that proves I’m a noob after all ;).