Emoticons turn 30 :-)on September 10, 2012 @ 7:40 am (Updated: 9:35 am - 9/10/12 )
Professor Scott Fahlman is credited with creating the first emoticon :-) (AP Photo/file)
It's been 30 years since a college professor first typed a colon and parentheses, making the world's first computer smiley face.
Professor Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh sent an email with a sideways smiley face at 11:44 a.m. He reportedly wanted to avoid confusion over the tone of emails that were meant to be humorous and those that were not meant to be.
"It was ten minutes of my life. I expected my note might amuse a few of my friends, and that would be the end of it."
It wasn't. What was a simple icon has grown into a whole world of emoticons. As for the little yellow computer graphics with faces that visibly express emotions by actually smiling, frowning or laughing.
Professor Fahlman isn't a fan.
"I think they are ugly, and they ruin the challenge of trying to come up with a clever way to express emotions using standard keyboard characters," Fahlman told The Independent.
KIRO co-host Bill Radke isn't much of a fan of any emoticons.
"I feel like professor Fahlman did it and he did it well and then it doesn't seem clever to me to do it," Radke says.
"I think emoticons are necessary because it's so hard to pick up the tone in an email," counters co-host Tom Tangney.
Co-host Linda Thomas is a regular user, but says she hates how people use them to mask real feelings.
"A lot of people use them in passive aggressive ways," complains Thomas.
"They'll write something like you are a jerk then put a smiley face, like that negates the fact you just called me a jerk."
By JOSH KERNS, MyNorthwest.com Reporter
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