Do You Know ? The First Documented Emoticon Was Proposed After A Bad Joke

Carnegie Mellon faculty member Scott E. Fahlman perhaps accidentally created what would spawn a new form of communication: the emoticon.

On Sept. 19, 1982 following a post on a digital message board about a fake mercury spill that was mistaken for a serious safety emergency, Fahlman proposed typing out : – ) as a joke marker.

“I propose that [ sic ] 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: : – (.” These “smileys,” as they came to be known, grew prevalent in internet communication. Eventually, services like AOL Instant Messenger automatically changed : – ) to a yellow circle with a smiley face in the center.


From there, emojis, which are made of iconography and not standard keyboard characters, took off. We’ve collected some awesome videos on this topic

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