This article was originally posted to HubPages, August of 2014, my account there.
Emoticons, also known as smileys, are used to convey emotion in your writing. They are a great way to use text in an otherwise flat email. Emoticons can also show when you are teasing versus being serious.
Making emoticons is as simple as typing anything else on your keyboard. Look down there at your fingers, find the characters, press and release. It’s not the act of typing emoticons which is difficult, of course. It’s knowing which characters to type in order to be understood.
Some emoticons, like the basic smile face, have developed several different versions over the years. Some have a nose and some are shortened to a two character smiley, no nose included. (The nose has become optional).
🙂 Smiley face
🙁 Frown face
=D Laughing out loud
:-& Tongue tied
:-J Tongue in cheek
:`( Crying face
😛 Sticking out tongue
=) Happy face
@>--;-- A rose
%%- Good luck
</3 Broken heart
Sources for More Text-Based Emoticons
Using Emoticons for Online Chat
Online chat uses text emoticons and turns them into graphics. I find people who ask about how to make emoticons are not actually talking about making emoticons, but these graphics.
Although they are based on the original text emoticons they display as graphics. Each chat (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) uses different emoticons and graphics. However, the basic smiley is still a smiley whether it comes with a big mouth, red cheeks or not.
This article was originally published at HubPages, my account there.
Do you remember the day you first saw someone type 🙂 or (the longer version with a nose) 🙂 ?
I do. It wasn’t 30 years ago, more like 16 years and a couple of months ago. I started online in the summer of 1996. I was an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) diva. Talking online, using a sort of bulletin board which was live over the Internet. Not a lot of people still use the IRC these days. It was lots of fun at the time.
I really began seeing emoticons when I became an active member of the ASCII art newsgroups. We didn’t stop at simple smileys and emoticons though.
ASCII art is pictures created with standard keyboard characters. I’ve been making ASCII art since 1998. See my ASCII art gallery,
The Emoticon Turns 30 on September 19th, 2012.
September 19th 2012 is 30 Years of Smileys!
If you have never created an emoticon – do it!
Some people think emoticons are dorky, too retro, too silly. No doubt there are lists of reasons you can find (or create) for not using an emoticon in your email or online comments, etc. But, emoticons are still the best way we have to include emotional direction into our typed out text.
Online, no one can see you smile
Someone reading your email can’t really tell if you are cracking a joke, being serious, being sarcastic or just being a jerk. Emoticons give the essential information as to the tone and meaning behind your commentary. Emoticons are important tools for people who like to be snarky but don’t really want to offend or upset others. Emoticons are great for the other side too – when you want someone to know you’re serious and feeling pretty ticked off too. Your words and language may be polite but one angry emoticon can let them know you’re just being polite.
Source: Emoticon Dictionary – Gomotes
I had not thought about fonts from other languages being used to create emoticons. This screen capture about Arabic emoticons was the only real information I could find on my first search. There must be more, but, chances are it won’t be in English so it won’t turn up in my search (using the English language).
Lucas provides a brief history of emoji’s predecessors, all the way from ornamental characters in the hand-executed typesetting of early-16th-century printed books to the many symbols of digital type. His journey touches upon the evolution of the dingbat and the emergence of emoticons, the punctuation-based kaomoji, ASCII art, and even expressive punctuation such as the ironieteken — conceived to denote ironic statements — and late 16th-century English printer Henry Denham’s proposed percontation point — to mark rhetorical questions.
Source: On the Origin of Emoji
Emoticons leading to a dedicated signature. Using emoticons (text smileys) to create a character, Sigmund Freud, in this case. A new way to use emoticons. This isn’t something they could do so well with emojis.
Using and combining typographic elements in a sketch evoking a famous portrait is a form of optical illusion, the one we called “smiley” born under the tight limits of the ASCII characters in the infancy years and games of personal computing, which lent to smile through the sense of misappropriation, often vertical to horizontal that it conveyed, (and characterized as an art form during a bygone era: the smiley today have become a very compact micro animated representation inserted throughout the text, with the development of computer science).