Subject: :-) SMILES
From: M DeMeritt <mdemerit -at- CYMBAL -dot- AIX -dot- CALPOLY -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 21:48:36 -0800

X-Subject: Unofficial Smilie Dictionary

Last month this newspaper[?] described some of the purported hazards of
working with computers -- electro-magnetic radiation, strained limbs,
strained eyes. We neglected to mention crooked heads. That is what you
get from trying to read the expressions of a new hieroglyphic language
that computer addicts have invented to enliven messages.

Like prehistoric cave dwellers, the devotees of electronic
bulletin-boards and "e-mail" have struggled to find a new way to
express themselves. Wall painting would not work. Words, it seems, are
not enough. Inarticulate sounds cannot be displayed on screens. To
make their messages feel more like personal contact, they have hit on
using the punctuation marks on an ordinaty keyboard in order to pull
faces at each other. To read these signs, you have to put your head on
your left shoulder.

The basic unit is:

the "smiley", a standard smiling face. In context, this can
mean "I'm happy to hear from you", or other pleasantries. The
smiley can also wink:
or frown:

among other things. The language can express many things about the
user's appearance:

8-) :-{) 8:-) :-)-8 :-Q @:-)

These signs mean, respectively, that the user wears sunglasses, has a
moustache, is a little girl, is a big girl, smokes, wears a turban.

The smiley can also indicate some subtleties of mood and

:-D :-/ :-e :-7 :-X

These mean that he is laughing, is sceptical, is disappointed,
is wry, is keeping his lips sealed.

Many of the signs (perhaps the majority in use on America's
biggest computer networks) are simply absurd fun, verging on
the unintelligible:

:-F *:o) +-:-) @=

The user is a buck-toothed vampire with one tooth missing, is
a clown, holds religious office, is pro-nuclear. The
hieroglyph of our title means that the user is a drunk,
devilish chef with a toupee in an updraft, a moustache and a
double chin.

Other Smilies

:-I Indifferent smilie. Better than a Frowning smilie but not quite as
good as a happy smilie
:-> User just made a really biting sarcastic remark. Worse than a :-).
:-> User just made a really devilish remark.
;-> Winky and devil combined. A very lewd remark was just made.

Those are the basic ones...Here are some somewhat less common ones:

(-: User is left handed
%-) User has been staring at a green screen for 15 hours straight
:*) User is drunk
[:] User is a robot
8-) User is wearing sunglasses
B:-) Sunglasses on head
::-) User wears normal glasses
B-) User wears horn-rimmed glasses
:-{} User wears lipstick
{:-) User wears a toupee
}:-( Toupee in an updraft
:-7 User juust made a wry statement
:-* User just ate something sour
:-)~ User drools
:-~) User has a cold
:'-( User is crying
:'-) User is so happy, s/he is crying
:-@ User is screaming
:-# User wears braces
:<) User is from an Ivy League School
:-& User is tongue tied.
=:-) User is a hosehead
-:-) User is a punk rocker
|-I User is asleep
|-O User is yawning/snoring
:-Q User is a smoker
O :-) User is an angel (at heart, at least)
:-P Nyahhhh!
:-C User is really bummed
:-/ User is skeptical
C=:-) User is a chef
:-o Uh oh!
(8-o It's Mr. Bill!
*:o) And Bozo the Clown!

:-} beard
:-{ mustache
:-# braces
:-X bow tie
:-Q smoker
<:I dunce
(:I egghead

8-) glasses
B-) horn-rims
8:-) glasses on forehead

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