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Have you ever had an e-mail conversation where you kind of wondered how a person meant what they "said"? Maybe you couldn't tell whether they were kidding or serious, happy or sad, excited, or bored??

"Talking" on the computer is really neat, it's fast, you don't need stamps and you don't have to get a stiff neck from holding the phone. But, something is missing. When we talk to each other in person, a lot gets "said" by the expressions on our face or by the tone of our voices. As great as e-mail is, all of that non-verbal communication is missing.

The solution is "emoticons" !

Emoticons are facial expressions made by a certain series of keystrokes. Most often producing an image of a face sideways.

Near as any research can pinpoint, Scott Fahlman invented the emoticons circa 1980 in a messages posted on CMU bulletin board systems. There are hundreds (thousands?) but only a very few are commonly used. Most of the common ones involve some form of smile or frown giving emoticons the secondary name "smilies."

Don't overdo if you use emoticons. Over one in a paragraph and three in a message are a good indicator you are a "newbie."

Common Emoticons

  • :-) Basic smiley face; used for humor and sometimes sarcasm
  • :-( Basic frowney face; used for sadness or anger
  • ;-) Half-smiley or winkey face; more often used for sarcasm
  • :-/ Wry face; used for wry humor

Click below for other examples of Emoticons .



  • () ValHaring - 31 Jul 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.ValHaring#31 Jul 2002][]]

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Topic revision: r4 - 2002-10-19 - ValHaring
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