Taken from http://caramelz.my/2009/12/all-about-emoticons-concise-history-and-list-of-emoticons/
As a devoted Netizen we use emoticons everyday. Of course you use them too, right? It’s much more easier to just do a :) compared to doing *smiles* or D8< to doing *I’M GODDAMN ANGRY*.
Well I got kinda interested in the world of Emoticons, and as I dwell further into researching about it, the emoticon world is really far bigger than what we think!
There are probably hundreds of emoticons out there, and what we use is just like 3-5% of them!
Yup, the MSN or Yahoo emoticons aren’t just the only emoticons you can find. You can emote even better using your own keyboard!
So come in here to learn a little history about Emoticons, the difference between Western and Eastern Emoticons and have a look at the list of Emoticons around the world!
It all started during the 1970s
When the Internet was born and all the emails are flying around the world, people eventually felt the need to express themselves better than *OMG I’M SO HAPPY NOW*. There were little support for graphics like that time (yeah, we live in a lucky generation with MSN emoticons!) and all they have were the typographic tools of the keyboard.
So a guy named Kevin Mackenzie in 1979 proposed that the punctuations of our keyboard to be used as means of gesture and facial expression. He wrote that:
In regard to your message a few days ago concerning the loss of meaning in this medium:
I am new here, and thus hesitate to comment, but I too have suffered from the lack of tone, gestures, facial expressions etc. May I suggest the beginning of a solution? Perhaps we could extend the set of punctuation we use, i.e:
If I wish to indicate that a particular sentence is meant with tongue-in-cheek, I would write it so:
“Of course you know I agree with all the current administration’s policies -).”
The “-)” indicates tongue-in-cheek.
At first Kevin proposed this as a joke, and we don’t really use the “-)” expression to mean “tongue-in-cheek” really today, personally I don’t really see the connection. :P But apparently the Net had taken it as a great suggestion and since then, emoticons begin to take a life of its own.
The Western Emoticons — :-)
So, as for when did the colon, hash and the close bracket become the basis that means “a smiley face” has not been properly recorded in the history of men (aka. Wikipedia), but well Wikipedia did record how the emoticon kinda works.
As the Western language, commonly English or other European languages typically reads from left to right, it makes sense for an emoticon to be registered from left to right too. So you will see the : represents the eye, the - representing the nose and ) representing the mouth. Like, well, this!
Well, as lazy Netizens eventually we’ve decided to take off the nose all together, and that leaves us this:
In case you still haven’t get it, well just lean your head to the left of your shoulder and you should be able to see the faces there. See the eyes there and the mouth doing all the different expressions? Yup, that’s it! :D
Which leads us to another main characteristic of the Western emoticon, is that they emphasize a lot on the use of the mouth to tell an expression. Without the mouth you can’t really tell what are you trying to emote with just two dots, right? So here are even more variations of the Western emoticons:
And hundreds of others more! With just a few combination of keys you can make so many faces, now isn’t that the wonders of emoticons? :D
The Eastern Emoticons — ^__^
Well the Net is a global thing, and global is all about cultures! While the Western people made so many cute faces by looking sideways, the Eastern people preferred to just show a face straight on, without having to tilt the head! This is also partially influenced by the East-asian languages such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese which reads each word as a block, instead of alphabets. So here’s how some famous Eastern-influenced emoticons look like:
As you’ve noticed by now, the Eastern emoticons uses the eyes to tell an expression instead of the mouth, which is pretty different with the Western emoticons. So if you’re familiar enough with these type of emoticons, we can replace the mouth with a dot or omit the mouth altogether and come out with:
Now, aren’t emoticons beautiful!
Even more complex Emoticons
Well, apparently we Netizens are not satisfied enough with these easily created emoticons, and we wanted more, and more! So the king nerds had come up with these beautiful Emoticons that combines the ASCII art. To put it simply, these emoticons uses glyphs that exist in the computer world but cannot be typed on our keyboard easily! So these emoticons are popular in the Japanese forums as they are preset onto a database and all the users have to do is to apply them by pressing a button.
Well, don’t ask me how they did it, you probably know it better than I do!
Due to the limitations of the blog’s display language I couldn’t show this in a copyable format such as the ones above, sorry! But really, if your computer supports the language, you really can type these emoticons out! :D
Aren’t they really cool??
3 Letter Words Emoticon: OTZ
Well it may baffle a lot of us at first, but OTZ really is an emoticon. Well to the Eastern world, at least! I first heard of the word orzfrom a song by Mayday, and it’s only today that I’ve found out what does it mean!
If you tilt your head sizeways, imagine the “O” as a head, then you should be able to see a man like falling onto the ground, the “T” or “r” like the hands, and the “Z” or the “L” like the legs crunching on the ground. It’s like the pose when you do push-ups, but this is when you’re wayyy depressed and tired!
So when you’re very so T_____T, you can do OTZ or orz to show that you bow down to the person, either full salute, or no energy!
Whoever who made this up sure is a genius! STO!
Before we come to an end!
And phew, isn’t that a really long post! :D Well before we come to an end, imma leave this one emoticon for you to find out what does it mean!
Well, no prizes this time, but it’s for your amusement really. :P Tips: It’s a 3 letter emoticon similar to OTZ!
Of course, leave your answer! I’d love to see what can you come up with!
So what are the emoticons that you use most frequently? ^__^
After seeing the Rives Mixed Emoticon Ted Talk, you wrote an emoticon story. Was the process of writing an emoticon story the same as the process of writing a word story? Explain.
Register and tone are important aspects of any text, register being the formal or informal way in which the audience is addressed, and tone being the feeling conveyed through the words. Is there a different tone and register to :) as opposed to “happy?”
What is the difference between an emoticon and a Chinese ideogram? (you may need to do some research to answer this question)
According to the reading above, emoticons change depending on culture (Western vs Eastern). Is this consistent, or inconsistent with emoticons being another form of text? Explain.
Refine your answer to the question of “What is a Text?”