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(computer science)
A combination of keyboard characters that depicts a sideways face whose expression conveys an emotional response. Also known as smiley.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


/ee-moh'ti-kon/ An ASCII glyph used to indicate an emotional state in electronic mail or news. Although originally intended mostly as jokes, emoticons (or some other explicit humour indication) are virtually required under certain circumstances in high-volume text-only communication forums such as Usenet; the lack of verbal and visual cues can otherwise cause what were intended to be humorous, sarcastic, ironic, or otherwise non-100%-serious comments to be badly misinterpreted (not always even by newbies), resulting in arguments and flame wars.

Hundreds of emoticons have been proposed, but only a few are in common use. These include:

:-) "smiley face" (for humour, laughter, friendliness, occasionally sarcasm)

:-( "frowney face" (for sadness, anger, or upset)

;-) "half-smiley" (ha ha only serious); also known as "semi-smiley" or "winkey face".

:-/ "wry face"

These may become more comprehensible if you tilt your head sideways, to the left. The first two are by far the most frequently encountered. Hyphenless forms of them are common on CompuServe, GEnie, and BIX; see also bixie. On Usenet, "smiley" is often used as a generic term synonymous with emoticon, as well as specifically for the happy-face emoticon.

The emoticon was invented by one Scott Fahlman on the CMU bboard systems on 1982-09-19. He later wrote: "I wish I had saved the original post, or at least recorded the date for posterity, but I had no idea that I was starting something that would soon pollute all the world's communication channels." GLS confirms that he remembers this original posting, which has subsequently been retrieved from a backup.

As with exclamation marks, overuse of the smiley is a mark of loserhood! More than one per paragraph is a fairly sure sign that you've gone over the line.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


(EMOTional ICON) A pictorial expression of feeling in a message rendered as text. Carnegie Mellon professor Scott Fahlman is credited with creating the first emoticon (the "smiley") using the text characters :-) in an online message in 1982.

Pronounced "e-mo-tih-con," the symbols are stored in the Unicode character set. Word processing, email and other character-based programs may automatically convert emoticon text into an icon. See emoji, emotag, Unicode and alphanumerish.

Emoticon   Meaning

  :-)     smiley, happy face

  :-(     frown

  ;-)     wink

  :-D     big smile

  :-O     mouth open in amazement

  :-Q     tongue hanging out in nausea

  :-{)    moustache

  :-{)}   moustache and beard

  8-)     wears glasses

  (-:     left handed or Australian

  :*)     red nosed, suggesting inebriation
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The effects of emoticons on impressions, evaluations, and behaviour in staff-to-student communication"
"It's the first book that everyone in the world can read, since it needs no translation," said the artist, adding that currently, by using a very simple system of signs, emoticon users, especially young people, enjoy the ability "to communicate on the international level."
Caption: Each student created a unique facial expression for his or her emoticon sculpture.
Natural language has continued to evolve with the advent of digital media-different languages evolve in different ways, but as Park and colleagues (2013) found, many languages have picked up emoticons as a way of translating emotional expressions.
At the time of this release, the presidential emoticons can only be used in iMessages, allowing users to present their opinions in visual form.
The first graphical representations of the symbol-based emoticons were brought to the fore by Nicolas Loufrani, son of The Smiley Company's President Franklin Loufrani, who decided to take up the mettle of innovating with the basic smiley, and create animated graphics to ease communications.
Set list: Give Me A Try, Jump Into The Fog, Techno Fan, Emoticons, Kill the Director, Tokyo, Greek Tragedy, Let's Dance to Joy Division.
Identifying which custodians may have records that contain communications with emojis or emoticons will allow counsel to more effectively pinpoint those pieces of evidence that are likely to be misconstrued, or alternatively, work to the benefit of the company's case.
It can be tempting to succumb to the sweet lure of the emoticon, if, say, you realise your tone is a bit too serious and you want to lighten the mood.
emoticon, which was present in the pilot stage has not made the cut.
Many complained that they could not see the new emoticons, while some were unhappy that Facebook did not launch a "dislike" button.
A research article (Pavalanathan & Eisenstein, 2015) examines whether emoji will replace ASCII character emoticons. Using a causal inference model, Pavalanathan and Eisenstein compared a treatment group (those using emoji for a specified time) to a control group (those who did not use emoji), with emoticon usage as the dependent variable.