Smiley Face Emoticon’s Birthday Date in the current year: September 19, 2024

Smiley Face Emoticon’s Birthday Emoticons have become an indispensable part of online communication, because they help us express our mood or feelings when the other person can’t see our facial expression or hear our voice. Some people even celebrate the smiley face emoticon’s birthday, which falls on September 19.

The smiley face emoticon :-) was created by American computer scientist Scott Fahlman. Although people have been looking for ways to use punctuation to express emotions for centuries and Fahlman certainly wasn’t the first person to suggest the concept of the emoticon, he is credited as the first person to put the idea into practice.

On September 19, 1982, Fahlman proposed to use a sequence consisting of a colon, a dash and a closing parenthesis :-) to distinguish jokes from serious posts during a conversation taking place on the Carnegie Mellon University computer science general board. In the same message, he also proposed the use of the :-( emoticon. The symbols caught on and spread to APRANET and Usenet (the precursor networks to the Internet) within months.

Since then, Internet users have come up with thousands of emoticons to convey all kinds of emotions and concepts. Moreover, a variety of emoticon styles have developed, each with its own culture-specific attributes. For example, Western-style emoticons are usually written left to right, like the first two invented by Fahlman: the eyes followed by the nose and the mouth. The nose is sometimes omitted, resulting in the two-character versions of popular emoticons, such as :), :( or ;). In addition to punctuation marks, emoticons in Western style can include letters. For example, :D means a grin, :P depicts a tongue out, and XD is used to express amusement.

Japanese-style emoticons are called kaomoji, which means “face characters”. Unlike Western-style emoticons, they can be understood without having to tilt one’s head to the left. Kaomoji usually consist of the parentheses, braces or square brackets representing the outline of the face, an underscore representing the mouth, and asterisks, carets, letters or other symbols representing the eyes. For example, the (T_T) emoticon represents sadness and the (x_x) emoticon represents stress. The parentheses are often left out, for example, o_O (surprise, confusion).

Korean-style emoticons are similar to Japanese emoticons in structure, meaning that you don’t need to tilt your head to read them, but they use jamo (symbols of the Korean alphabet) instead of Latin characters. Russian speakers use a single right parenthesis as a smiley face, omitting both the colon and the dash, and multiple parentheses are used to express laughter, amusement or happiness. Many users, especially anime fans, use a combination of Western and Japanese styles.

Although everyone and their mother is using emojis these days, emoticons are still popular in plain test communication channels. If you like using emoticons to express your emotions, don’t hesitate to celebrate the birthday of the smiley face emoticon on September 19 and to mentally thank Scott Fahlman for inventing it.

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