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Posted by on Sep 30, 2012 in Science & Technology | 1 comment

Happy Belated 30th Birthday Emoticon ;-)

I’ve got to tell you, I’m a fan:

To some, an email isn’t complete without the inclusion of πŸ™‚ or :-(. To others, the very idea of using “emoticons” – communicative graphics – makes the blood boil and represents all that has gone wrong with the English language.

Regardless of your view, as emoticons celebrate their 30th anniversary this month, it is accepted that they are here stay. Their birth can be traced to the precise minute: 11:44am on 19 September 1982. At that moment, Professor Scott Fahlman, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, sent an email on an online electronic bulletin board that included the first use of the sideways smiley face: “I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: πŸ™‚ Read it sideways.” More than anyone, he must take the credit – or the blame.

Fahlman tells his story this week for On The Media. He’s written it, too, here.

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