how-did-the- computer-smiley-start Scott E  Fahlman

Back in 1982 the usage of online bulletin boards were common and they used to communicate and discuss all sort of stuff on those boards. They used to have a problem understanding some of the posts. Some of the posts were intended as a joke, or someone was being sarcastic, but then some wouldn’t get it and start a whole fight and rally up against what was supposed to be taken as a joke.

Then, on September of 1982, a bunch of guys were at their computers typing away suggestions to help solve this problem. They came up with the idea of labeling a comment or mark it with something that would make it clear that the comment is a joke and isn’t intended to be taken seriously. Some of the guys suggested:

“I think that the joke character should be the sequence {#} because it looks like two lips with teeth showing between them.”

“No, no, no! Surely everyone will agree that “&” is the funniest character on the keyboard. It looks funny”

But then came along this one guy, who typed a message that would leave a lasting impact on computer users all over the world. And this is what he had to say:

“19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman
From: Scott E Fahlman

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

: – (“

And just like that, it snowballed, and the computer smiley was created!

Sources: #1 & #2


This entry was posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 12:26 am

4 Responses to “How did sideways smiley face :-) start?”

  1. khalid says:

    walla matwa8a3t chethy 8demen!

  2. radiant guy says:

    nice story bs kan el mafr’9 ma agraha at work :O~

  3. AGWAF says:

    Very very very very interesting.

    I would love to know how our 3 6 7 use started. Is it true that it arose in Kuwait?

  4. almudhaf says:

    they were professors at carnegie mellon university in pittsburgh