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October 28, 2011
Punctuation, as we know it, is going.
The semicolon is being phased out; it really is.
We don’t know what to do about apostrophes.
We're eliminating the comma even in places that need it.
However, we do have that little face up there, part glyph, part punctuation, part character, part overused irritant, who appears to be in demand.
No wonder it's always happy.
An emoticon is a combination of emotion and icon.
It's been around for a while.
The National Telegraphic Review and Operators Guide in April 1857 documented the use of the number 73 in Morse code to express "love and kisses."
In 1912 Ambrose Bierce proposed "an improvement in punctuation — the snigger point: it is written thus \___/! and presents a smiling mouth."
In a New York Times interview in April 1969, Vladimir Nabokov was asked: "How do you rank yourself among writers (living) and of the immediate past?" Nabokov answered: "I often think there should exist a special typographical sign for a smile — some sort of concave mark, a supine round bracket, which I would now like to trace in reply to your question."
Scott Fahlman may have been listening since in 1982 he invented the first digital smiley face for chatroom geeks who never got the joke.
Scott's sideways smiley face :-), soon sparked more. Like :-( for frowney face and :-/ wry face.
They eventually morphed into those little graphic symbols expressing all sorts of things — appearing in texts, tweets, e-mails, walls...anywhere.
Let's face it.
We're never safe from them.
We’ve had a busy week on the Eye.
Thanks for all your contributions.
Have a great weekend. :-)