Fandango’s Friday Flashback — September 13

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

074EC8E2-76C2-4D6E-9486-DC0332C55A13The 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.

: – )

“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.

: – (

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.

: – )


27 thoughts on “Fandango’s Friday Flashback — September 13

  1. Sadje September 13, 2019 / 3:38 am

    Very interesting post. Never knew the story behind the smilie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 8:09 am

      This is the way to do it. Alternatively, you can repost it on your blog and create a pingback to here. Either way is fine. Thank you for sharing it, Lorraine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • blindzanygirl September 13, 2019 / 1:04 pm

        Thanks Fabdango

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shweta Suresh September 13, 2019 / 4:06 am

    I never knew there was such a story behind the famous smiley. Thanks for Professor Falhman! Amazing to know that it’s been 25 years!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 8:16 am

      It was 25 years when I first published this post, which was 12 years ago, so now its been 37 years!


  3. Stroke Survivor UK September 13, 2019 / 6:16 am

    Hahaha, I’m very jealous of all these youngsters who know all the emojis off by heart. I can manage smile, wink and laugh but that’s my limit. It’s just as well nothing ever pisses me off!

    Your posts really make me reminisce – here is one of mine from a year and 2 days ago – I tend nt to post every day so it’s hit’n’miss whether I post on the actual anniversary – As a bit of context, Salisbury is my local city. I’m out in the countryside about 10 miles away. Now I go in there two afternoons per week mainly to do some voluntary work, back then a visit it was a bigger deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 8:27 am

      I tried to comment on your post using “anonymous,” but it still doesn’t show.🤷🏻‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stroke Survivor UK September 13, 2019 / 9:40 am

        Ahhhh, light dawns! You are using Safari, I bet. I just found something on the web about Safari’s default setting and Bloggers default setting don’t boogie. So I’ve changed my Blogger settings – the commenting process now looks different but should be open to more browsers. If you want to re-leave a comment, you’re more than welcome. Otherwise, maybe next time. I’m sorry about this.
        Funny wofe’s iPad didn’t flag, but she might have changed its defaults.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 12:58 pm

          Yes, I’m using Safari. I’ll try posting again and see if your changes to the settings worked.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 1:07 pm

          I couldn’t post a comment on my iPhone by opening your post from within my WordPress app. Then I tried in the Safari browser. No luck. Then I viewed your post in “full” mode, rather than mobile mode, and was able to post an anonymous comment. Talk about jumping through hoops!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Stroke Survivor UK September 13, 2019 / 1:44 pm

            I fully agree. You’d think that one of the primary goals of a blogging platform would be to make it easy to find and interact with posts. Your “anonymous” and “chrome” comments got through. It is really silly that I have to dumb down my site because some of the things don’t work on certain browsers. Does nobody ever comment on Blogger posts, I wonder? I’ve also had trouble with the blog appearing un search engines – including Google!

            So, almost nothing pisses me off 😉

            The actual problem was with third-party cookies. Blogger uses them by default to track comment threads (the change I made was to use a less smart way, which doesn’t use them), Safari doesn’t allow them by default, which seems reasonable. Doesn’t surprise if the WordPress browser doesn’t allow them either. Thanks for persevering and have a good weekend.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen September 13, 2019 / 9:26 am

      It’s a happy story that you’re getting better every day, Survivor : – )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ghostmmnc September 13, 2019 / 1:07 pm

    Really interesting and cool about the smiley! I still use it every day either by typing them in or finding those little yellow ones! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Taswegian1957 September 13, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    It was interesting to learn the origins of Smiley. Here is a link to a post I wrote on 13 September 2013, in the first year of my blog, for the now-defunct Daily Prompt. Since I wrote it a lot has happened in my life and I can no longer say I feel as happy and content as I did then. I’m more angry at the state of politics in my country and the world in general and I no longer feel proud of my country. I do still take pleasure in nature and the other small pleasures in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2019 / 5:31 pm

      “I’m more angry at the state of politics in my country and the world in general and I no longer feel proud of my country.” I feel exactly the same way. And my country is the U.S.

      Liked by 1 person

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