30 years of Smileys :-)

On September 19, 1982, Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 🙁 on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System.

The original message from which these symbols originated was posted on September 19, 1982. The message was recovered by Jeff Baird on September 10, 2002 and is quoted:

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


From one of our previous blog posts you might remember that the original smiley has been invented by the designer Harvey Ball in 1963 and also there are evidences, that emoticons have been used way back in the year 1881 by Ambrose Bierce. He was then working at the satirical magazine ‘Puck‘ and introduced __/! as a smiling mouth, the exclamation mark had to be appended, if the sentence or phrase written, was meant ironically. 

But then, 30 years ago today, Scott Fahlman published the famous smiling (or sad) face, laying on the side, which spread widely in a short period of time. Many variations have then been created and with the development of new ways of communication, the emoticons’ importance grew. It seems like a whole new language has established since then, actually two, because the Asian emoticons’ appearance differs remarkably from the so called “western style”.

At yovisto you might watch a short video interview with Prof. Scott E. Fahlman from Carnegie Mellon University about his now famous ‘invention’.

References and Further Reading:


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