THE digital smiley emoticon is 31 years old. The credit, or blame, goes to Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman, who in 1982 proposed punctuating humorously intended computer messages by employing a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis as a horizontal “smiley face.” 🙂
This was the birth of the emoticon.
Fahlman said recently he did not like what you kids had done to his sideways smiley face on social media.
“Sometimes I feel like Dr. Frankenstein,” he told The Wall Street. “My creature started as benign but it’s gone places I don’t approve of.”
By the way, emoticons represent a profitable new business, with global sales in excess of $500 million in 2012.