How and when did emoticons evolve? According to Microsoft’s Mike Smith, the first emoticon appeared in 1982. The smiley “:-)” and its opposite “:-(” were invented by Scott Fahlman at Carnegie Mellon, who posted it to a bulletin board. Here’s what Scott said at the time.
19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :–) From: Scott E Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c> I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: :–) Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use :–(
For more information on Microsoft’s software archeology expedition to discover this, go here.
Nathaniel Borenstein, Curator