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Origin of Emoticons

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

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