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:-) The history of the ASCII emoticon.

 
 
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 12:02 am
Sept. 19, 1982: Can't You Take a Joke? :-)

Quote:

http://www.wired.com/images/article/full/2008/09/eomticon_630x.jpg
1982: At precisely 11:44 a.m., Scott Fahlman posts the following electronic message to a computer-science department bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University:

Scott E Fahlman wrote:
19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-)
From: Scott E Fahlman

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:

:-(


With that post, Fahlman became the acknowledged originator of the ASCII-based emoticon. From those two simple emoticons (a portmanteau combining the words emotion and icon) have sprung dozens of others that are the joy, or bane, of e-mail, text-message and instant-message correspondence the world over.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 2,984 • Replies: 13
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thegalacticemperor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 01:18 am
@Robert Gentel,
Super Nerd!
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 02:29 am
@thegalacticemperor,
No such thing.

Noids is noids.

They cannot transcend.
thegalacticemperor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 02:53 am
@dlowan,
He's already transcended...just look at him!
thegalacticemperor
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 03:00 am
@dlowan,
they can
tran·scend (trān-sěnd') Pronunciation Key
v. tran·scend·ed, tran·scend·ing, tran·scends
1. To pass beyond the limits of: emoti(c)ons that transcend understanding.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 03:18 am
@Robert Gentel,
Personally, I think Fahlman did the culture of the net a terrific service. Often, when one writes quickly on the internet, the meaning of the message is vague to the viewer. This, I believe, is because when you see somthing on the net, you are not either hearing the person's voice, or observing his body language. An emoticon can quickly illustrate to the viewer of the message, the emotional tone that the writer of the piece is expressing.

Over the years, until I got to know a certain few members, I would have difficulty understanding the meaning of what they were writing. I think that this is also why some newbies get put off, when they don't understand the quirks and foibles of some of our members, and take umbrage at something that was not meant to be negative, only wry. An emoticon can handle that communication problem nicely
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 06:56 am
@Robert Gentel,
The legend in the deaf community is that we started it, with teletypewriters. Way before 1982. I don't know if that's true or not -- I didn't start using a tty until 1984 or so. I do know that I picked up emoticons from tty usage, and was using them in email before many other people I knew were.

(A friend of mine just asked me what those "D"s in my emails to her meant!! I was like eh? Then she said yeah, like a colon and then a D -- what's that mean? Very Happy)

I'm fairly confident that many text abbreviations (brb et al) originated with tty's. I have a list of abbreviations somewhere that I taught in an ASL class in the early 90's -- I remember that the (hearing) people who took the class were mystified by them. (They're all standard now.)
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 12:06 pm
@sozobe,
I think he can only lay claim to the first ASCII emoticon, and the article says that there were precedents:

Quote:
Fahlman was not, however, the first person to use typographical symbols to convey emotions. The practice goes back at least to the mid-19th century, when Morse code symbols were occasionally used for the same purpose. Other examples exist as well.

In 1881, the American satirical magazine Puck published what we would now call emoticons, using hand-set type. No less a wordsmith than Ambrose Bierce suggested using what he called a "snigger point" -- \__/ -- to convey jocularity or irony.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 05:10 pm
@thegalacticemperor,
thegalacticemperor wrote:

He's already transcended...just look at him!


Nonsense.


A smile doth not a transcendence betoken.

thegalacticemperor wrote:

they can
tran·scend (trān-sěnd') Pronunciation Key
v. tran·scend·ed, tran·scend·ing, tran·scends
1. To pass beyond the limits of: emoti(c)ons that transcend understanding.



Emoticons do not transcend understanding...though they may beggar it.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:11 am
This takes it pretty far back...

http://img370.imageshack.us/img370/4006/50720503tr8.jpg
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:29 am
@Robert Gentel,
Dang it. I can't even remember the name of the keyboard artist we had on Abuzz. He did some fantastic work, though.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:34 am
@roger,
I think you were speaking of Andrew T or something, I always thought he was just copying and pasting them from the same places I was.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:39 am
@Robert Gentel,
That's the one. I never suspected either one of you of copying.

: (
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:45 am
@roger,
Type all that out? Nah, of all the people I've seen use them I don't know anyone who actually spends their time making them themselves, they are copied and pasted around the web most of the time. The only times I ever made an original one it was very simple and quick or I used a generator like this:

http://www.degraeve.com/img2txt.php
0 Replies
 
 

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