The very first smiley

Have any of you ever wondered where the sidewards smileys came from? You know the :-) and :-( and so on…

While I believed it was “born” on a Bulletin Board, or on IRC, it appears I was completely wrong. What would you think if I told you that the smiley was in fact 24 years old? Yes, the very first smiley was created in 1982 by Scott E. Fahlman.

Here is the “archaic” transcript where the first smiley emerged:

19-Sep-82 11:44    Scott E  Fahlman             :-)
From: Scott E  Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c>

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


I never expect them to be so old. But now a bigger question remains… who decided to break the “old” smileys’ nose leaving them like this :) and this :( ?

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