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I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:
: – )
Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use:
: – (
With that post, Fahlman became the acknowledged originator of the ASCII-based emoticon. From those two simple emoticons (a portmanteau combining the words emotion and icon) have sprung dozens of others that are the joy, or bane, of e-mail, text-message and instant-message correspondence the world over.
Fahlman was not, however, the first person to use typographical symbols to convey emotions. The practice goes back at least to the mid-19th century, when Morse code symbols were occasionally used for the same purpose. Other examples exist as well.
Have a nice day!
*editor’s note: to prevent WP from rendering these as ‘automatic smileys’, spaces were inserted in between characters.
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