GEN-TRIVIA-ENG-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-TRIVIA-ENG > 2002-12 > 1039165883
From: "Geo." <>
Subject: Re: [trivvies] question
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 17:11:23 +0800
References: <00a901c29cc8$fb67c7b0$7dc40050@tiggy> <003b01c29cad$d93b1b80$cc877ad5@oemcomputer>
John, 'smilies', more properly called 'emoticons' (emotive/emotional icons) were devised as a means of conveying the context of a text message in usenet (the forerunner of the internet) days and naturally extended to emails as they replaced the earlier form of text messaging.
When you talk to someone face-to-face you pick up as much, or more information from their body language and their tone of voice as you do from the actual words. If you are speaking to them on the phone, you lose the body language clues but can still quite accurately assess their meaning from the tone of voice and the words. For instance, when you ring Social Services on Monday I'm sure they will be left in no doubt as to whether or not you are joking. <g> With emails you have to rely entirely on the text to interpret the meaning and because of this it is very easy to misunderstand. An example of this happened on the List *very* recently when someone failed to notice the smilie, took the message out of context and took umbrage at it and the sender. Thus a smilie is used to convey your 'emotion', i.e. whether you are pleased or otherwise, joking or in earnest, happy or sad, etc. etc.
The following site has a list at Appendix A. of most emoticons. Very few are actually still in common use though. You will notice that the great majority don't actually convey a smile which is why the term 'smilie' is not strictly correct.
You are probably familiar with other means of conveying emotion such as <g> grin, <vbg> very big grin, <lol> laughing out loud, etc.
> Its the smiley face that is made with :-) or with double chins :-))
> or if you are upset it's :-(
> All incoming and outgoing mail checked by Norton 2002
> Sue..whats a smiley ? Johno