The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
/ee-moh'ti-kon/ (Or "smiley") An ASCIIglyph
used to indicate an emotional state in text-only electronic
messaging systems such as chat, electronic mail, SMS or
news. Although originally intended mostly as jokes,
emoticons are widely recognised if not expected; the lack of
verbal and visual cues can otherwise cause non-serious
comments to be misinterpreted, resulting in offence, arguments
and flame wars.
Hundreds of emoticons have been proposed, but only a few are
in common use. These include:
:-) "smiley face" (for humour, laughter,
friendliness, occasionally sarcasm)
:-( "frowney face" (for sadness, anger, or upset)
;-) "half-smiley" (ha ha only serious); also
known as "semi-smiley" or "winkey face".
:-/ "wry face"
These are more recognisable if you tilt your head to the left.
The first two are by far the most frequently encountered.
Hyphenless forms of them are also common. The acronym "lol"
is also often used in the same context for the same effect
(and is easier to type).
The emoticon was invented by one Scott Fahlman on the CMUbboard systems on 1982-09-19. He later wrote: "I had no
idea that I was starting something that would soon pollute all
the world's communication channels." GLS confirms that he
remembers this original posting, which has subsequently been
retrieved from a backup
As with exclamation marks, overuse of the smiley is a mark of
loserhood! More than one per paragraph is a fairly sure sign
that you've gone over the line.
U.S. Gazetteer Places (2000):
Smiley, TX -- U.S. city in Texas
Population (2000): 453
Housing Units (2000): 202
Land area (2000): 0.520793 sq. miles (1.348847 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 0.520793 sq. miles (1.348847 sq. km)
FIPS code: 68300
Located within: Texas (TX), FIPS 48
Location: 29.269402 N, 97.636850 W
ZIP Codes (1990): 78159
Note: some ZIP codes may be omitted esp. for suburbs.