Who invented the :-) ?

Published on November 24th, 2011
Who invented the :-) ?

The Smiley Face is something we come across on a daily basis, whether it be in SMS’s, emails, some form of Instant Messaging, or while reading the latest issue of the HIP2B2 magazine…

The yellow and black iconic figure is recognised around the world, but ever wondered who invented the digital smiley, better recognised as, : – )?

Credit goes to Scott E. Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. The emoticon was a solution to a problem Scott was experiencing with colleagues in an email thread.

Problems would arise when the conversation would become more humorous, and people weren’t sure how to respond. Various “joke markers”  were suggested, and in the midst of that discussion it occurred to Scott that the character sequence : – ) would be an elegant solution – one that could be handled by the ASCII-based  computer terminals of the day.

He also suggested the use of  : – ( to indicate that a message was meant to be taken seriously, though that symbol quickly evolved into a marker for displeasure, frustration, or anger.

It’s confirmed that the digital smiley was born on 19 September 1982. Read more about the the history of the sideways smiley here.

And don’t forget to smile for the camera!