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This Day in History: First Use of Emoticons (9/19/1982)


Carnegie Mellon professor Scott E. Fahlman is shown in his home office on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007, in Pittsburgh. Twenty-five years ago, three keystrokes _ a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis _ were first used as a horizontal

Carnegie Mellon professor Scott E. Fahlman is shown in his home office on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007, in Pittsburgh. Twenty-five years ago, three keystrokes _ a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis _ were first used as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message by Fahlman, the university said. Fahlman posted the emoticon in a message to an online electronic bulletin board at 11:44 a.m. on Sept. 19, 1982. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

If you use this :) or :( online or in texts, it all started on this day in history back in 1982.

On a computer science message board at Carnegie Mellon University, Scott Fahlman posted a message about using these: :-) and :-(

They represented a happy emotion and a sad one. Later on, these and others would become common in usage on the internet and later text messaging.

These are called emoticons, a portmanteau of icon and emotion.

Here are some other noteworthy emoticons:

• QQ – Crying
• :-O – Shock/Surprise
• :P – Playful or Silly
• O:-) – Angel or Innocence
• *<|:-) – Santa Claus
• /) – Brohoof
• <3 – Heart or Love
• :$ - Embrassment, Blush


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