In conjunction with acronyms, emoticons are shorthand tools for symbolizing emotion in a virtual world. This article about emoticons attempts to shed a bit of light on the use of these symbols. The author uses a sort of wait-and-see tone with regard to whether or not emoticons are here to say or just a passing fad like the ‘irony mark’. Emoticons have evolved to become more than just the symbols we type so that most programs will recognize what you’re trying to convey and insert an actual ☺ or frowny face (system won’t recognize that symbol). Many of these programs even have animation built into the emoticon so that the mouths turn either direction or your smiley sheds tears. While I don’t see any of these becoming acceptable forms of formal communication it is hard to picture them fading from use entirely. Computer programmers have somewhat standardized a modern list of symbol shortcuts starting with ‘ALT+1’ to signify the smiley. A detailed list can be found here.

-erin

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3 responses to “

  1. Interesting to hear about the evolution of emoticons — I hadn’t thought about them that way before. I can’t get to the article you link in the beginning of your post — let’s take a look at this in class tomorrow.

  2. As far as I remember, 🙂 , this smile face was the first emoticon that got popular. (In Korean online culture, it was expressed in this way, ^-^) Although emoticon will not be able to become formal language, it is effective for delivering our messages in some cases and fun to use at least. As you mentioned above, now many software recognize these emoticon characters and even automatically convert them into certain pictograms. However, I think the emoticon is meaningful only when it is consisted of normal characters because what we need is not realistic pictures, but witty and creative combination of characters. Besides, that is the way emoticon started out from the plain text-based online. ^-^

  3. P.S I wanted to type in : – ), but it became :-).

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