Amazing facts about emoticons

Posted on Feb 4, 2021      177

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine communication on the Internet without emoticons - special symbols that help convey human emotions. But few people know who invented them and when they began to be used. Although there is evidence that humanity used similar tools long before computers. We offer some amazing facts about emoticons.

1. Officially smileys are about 50 years old. It is supposed that they appeared because of the failed union of two American insurance companies. The staff of the newly formed State Mutual Life Insurance Company of America did not know how to express their pessimistic views on the future after the failed project and came up with the idea to use the special image for this purpose. This idea was suggested in 1963 by Harvey Ball.

2. It is correct to call only graphic images emoticons (the first one was a yellow face with black eyes and a smiling mouth). Today, however, many people mistakenly consider emoticons as well - a combination of typographic characters that convey an emotion, such as the “;)” sign.

3. The Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov first used emoticons to express his condition. In 1969, in an interview with The New York Times, he said: “I often think that there should be a special typographic sign to show a smile - something like a curved line lying down in a bracket; this is the sign I would put in place of an answer to your question.”

4. There is a version according to which the “joyful” smiley face existed as early as the 19th century. In his speech synopsis, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln used the “;)” sign after the word “laughter.” However, experts could never establish whether this symbol was used deliberately or whether it was an oversight.

5. Because it’s still difficult to establish who first came up with the smiley face and who owns the copyright, there was almost a fight between Samsung, Apple, Varia and RIM over the patent for the symbol in smartphones.

6. Smiley faces devoted many actions and even set records. So, in 2012 in India, 3,737 people made a smiley face. Its diameter reached 43.5 meters. It was the largest smiley in the world, which is included in the Guinness Book of Records.

7. By the way, not all countries around the world have adopted the same smileys. The Japanese stood out and invented their own symbolic designations for the emotions. For instance, they write “(^_^)” - joy, “(o_O)” - shock, “(@[email protected])” - surprise, “*^_^*” - embarrassment with flushed cheeks.

8. Smiley faces became so popular that they denote not only emotions but also some objects. Recently it became fashionable to come up with symbols for some characters and historical figures. If you write “~8-)”, we’re talking about Harry Potter, and this way - “~(_8^(|)” - looks like Homer Simpson.

9. The cosmos has its own smiley face - scientists using the Hubble telescope discovered it. Galaxies that look like a symbol because of optical illusion and light reversal formed it.