Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?
Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 13th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on September 13, 2007 in a now long-gone blog of mine. At the time I posted this, the original “Smiley” emoticon was about to turn 25 years old. That was 12 years ago, so Smiley is now six days away from turning 37. Also note that this was way before the hundreds of emojis we have available today became ubiquitous. 🙂😉😏🤨
Happy Birthday Smiley
The ubiquitous original emoticon, Smiley, was “invented” 25 years ago. You know Smiley. It is constructed by connecting the colon, dash, and close parenthesis keystrokes on a computer keyboard and then tilting your head to the left to recognize the two eyes, the nose, and the curved smile.
You’ve used Smiley often in your emails and instant messages to represent something you have put in writing that should be taken lightly, as a joke, or to express humor. Maybe you’ve used Smiley to take the edge off of something that you were concerned might be interpreted as being otherwise nasty, hurtful, or mean if taken the wrong way.
According to CNN, the first person to use the three keystroke combination was Scott E. Falhman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. On September 19, 1982 Fahman posted the emoticon in a message to an online electronic bulletin board (remember those?). He suggested it as a means to express comments meant to be taken lightly.
“I propose the following character sequence for joke markers,” he wrote, and then entered the three infamous keystrokes.
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“Read it sideways,” his message continued. It gave computer users a way to convey humor or positive feelings with a smile, or the opposite sentiments simply by using the close parenthesis key.
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Clifford Nass, a professor of communications at Stanford University, noted that emotions behind the written sentence may be hard to discern because emotion is often conveyed through tone of voice. “What emoticons [like Smiley] do is essentially provide a mechanism to transmit emotion when you don’t have the voice.”
So happy 25th birthday, Smiley, and thank you Professor Falhman for coming up with a way for me to give a witty tone to my written word.
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