The original smiley and frowney emoticons which are most commonly used to signify a facial expression or emotions were invented by Scott Fahlman at CMU in 1982.
(Hey! This is 3 years older than me!) Over the years this Smiley has gone through many incarnations but it consistently retained the same features like eyes, a mouth and occasionally a nose.
Although the first emoticons were limited to Smiley and few others, now hundreds of emoticons have been introduced for conveying almost all the emotions and facial expressions possible.
From the proposed hundreds of emotions, only few are in common use by most people. These include:
🙂 ‘smiley face’ or ‘happy face’
(for humor, laughter, friendliness, occasionally sarcasm)
🙁 ‘frowney face’ (for sadness, anger, or upset)
😉 ‘half-smiley’ ; also known as semi-smiley or winkey face.
:-/ ‘wry face’ or ‘confused’
Having the speciality of conveying emotions that cannot be easily expressed in words these emoticons have won the hearts of millions all over the world.
Few years back Yahoo! conducted a survey among 40000 yahoo-messenger users which gave path to the following interesting facts on emoticons:
- 85% of people daily use emoticons in their messages.
- 83% of messenger users use ‘smiley face’ or ‘happy face’ closely followed by flirting to express happiness.
- Survey says that 50% are interested in using emoticons to express Love.
- 57% use emoticons to express anger.
- Even for marriage proposals these emoticons are being used by 10% of netizens.
- Emoticons are the favorites to the youngsters of age group 18-25. This doesn’t mean elderly people are not preferring them as the survey also reveals that 48% of netizens aged above 50 years are fans of emotions.
But its often said that overuse of the smiley or other emoticons is a mark of loserhood! More than one per paragraph is a fairly sure sign that you’ve gone over the line. So use them wisely.