Geek Trivia: Who Created The Ubiquitous :-) Emoticon?

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Geek Trivia

Who Created The Ubiquitous 🙂 Emoticon?

Tim Berners-Lee
Scott Fahlman

Ray Tomlinson
Vint Cerf

The Greatest Promoting Single Of All Time Is?

Reply: Scott Fahlman

Though the historical past of utilizing typography to, unconventionally, show some kind of face goes again over a century, the primary particular person to particularly suggest set of keyboard strokes be used to face in for a smile or frown with a view to convey an emotional state to the reader was Scott Fahlman—a pc scientist at Carnegie Mellon College.

In a publish to the pc science common board at Carnegie Mellon College on September 19, 1982, he wrote the next:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman 🙂
From: Scott E Fahlman

I suggest that the next character sequence for joke markers:


Learn it sideways. Truly, it’s in all probability extra economical to mark
issues which might be NOT jokes, given present traits. For this, use


This was not the primary occasion the place a type of typography had been used and/or urged to be used as a approach of displaying a facial features. All the way in which again in 1881, Puck—a satirical journal printed in the USA—jokingly urged that multi-line typographical constructions could possibly be used to make faces. Nonetheless, the concept was by no means critically entertained as a technique of conveying emotion in print.

In 1912, famend influential journalist and pioneering author Ambrose Bierce proposed that writers may append humorous or ironic sentences with this typographical assemble: ___/ to characterize a smiling mouth. Once more, this wasn’t a very critical proposal and the concept by no means caught on. Over the intervening many years, using characters to assemble faces would seem right here and there in scattered contexts, however failed to realize any traction.

It wasn’t till Scott Fahlman’s message board publish that most of the people was actually prepared for the concept of a typographically constructed face. Laptop use was on the rise, increasingly more folks had been speaking by way of e mail (a moderately sterile medium in comparison with face-to-face and voice-based communication), and a easy approach so as to add an emotional marker, reminiscent of a smile, to digital communications was a welcome addition.

Picture by HTG workers.

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