Was This the World's First Emoticon?

The emoticon might be older than we thought. This passage of text, which includes a cheeky smiley, is taken from Robert Herrick's 1648 poem To Fortune—and it might be the first ever use of an emoticon. Read More >>

Emoticons are Reshaping Our Brains: We Now Process :-) as a Human Face

When we first broached the Great Smiley Debate a few weeks ago, the question was whether or not a dash-as-nose was appropriate, necessary, or a bastardisation of the simple purity of two dots paired with a gentle curve. But a new, equally contentious controversy has emerged: should the parenthesis open towards the left or the right? Read More >>

Should Smilies Have Noses: The Great Emoticon Debate

Recently, the dating website Zoosk conducted a study of 4,000 singles to see which online dating habits were the most conducive to finding yourself your very own sex friend. One of the most peculiar bits of info gleaned from the study, though, is that fact that profiles that used the emoticon ":-)" racked up a 13 percent net increase in replies while the ":)" would send you into a 66 percent decline. Never underestimate the power of a nose. Read More >>

Smiley Face Emoticon Tweet Earns Policeman a Disciplinary

Whoever was left in charge of the Sussex Police Twitter account this week won themselves an unfortunate bollocking, after they dared to respond to a sarcastic question about corruption within the force with a simple smiley-face emoticon. Read More >>

The First Emoticons Were Used in 1881

=) -_- T_T =P ;) Oh, the emoticon. Depending on who you're talking to (or I guess texting to? messaging to?) at the moment, emoticons can be as common as some words. When did they first start showing up? Did people write letters with smileys and frowny faces? Were typewriters used to express emotion through symbols? Maybe. Apparently, the first emoticons were used in 1881. Read More >>

user manual
Are Sane Adults Allowed to Ever Use ;) ?

You probably haven't regularly used smileys since your middle school days, when modems screeched and President Clinton rained ordnance against Bosnian war criminals. You've grown up since then, but the ;) has remained inert, a relic of type. In our new modern age, is it ever okay to drop a smiley? Read More >>

Charles Darwin Is Helping Solve One of Mankind's Greatest Problems: Reinventing the Emoticon

Emoticons are ingratiated into modern language. Tweens communicate in nothing but nonsensical strings of emojis, and artists use them to create entire tales. But even with widespread use, emoticons' emotions have remained relatively 1-dimensional since their inception. Read More >>

You Can Use Emoticons In Facebook Comments Now T_T

Oh noes. Facebook has activated emoticons in the comments. That means that now your Facebook page will get full of all kinds of smileys. And, for some reason, sharks. Read More >>

Samsung and RIM Sued For Using Emoticons

Emoticons tend to polarise opinion; some love 'em, others hate 'em. Now, Samsung and RIM are being sued over the things, by a company which claims to hold copyright over pop-up menus from which users select their preferred emoticon. Sad face. Read More >>

Horrible, Joyless Patent Trolls Are Suing Samsung and RIM Over Emoticons (o_O)

I bet when you're texting with friends you like to drop a :-) or maybe a ;-). If you're really up on your game, it's possible you toss in a (^_^). Read More >>


Don't have a Gizmodo UK account?