Origin of Smiley: The World's First Ever Emoticon Was Created by Scott E. Fahlman On This Day in 1982
The first emoticon and smiley (Photo credits: File Image)

A text is incomplete or sounds rude when there is no smiley emoticon at the end of it. Over the years, as we have such a wide choice of emoticons to choose from, they have become an integral part of conversations. As platforms evolved, the emoticons are diverse but ever wondered the origin of the very first expression? Well, today happens to be the 36th anniversary of the first ever smiley. Scott Fahlman, a computer science professor introduced the first emoticon :-) a sideways face with two eyes with a colon, a nose with dash and closed bracket for the smile. The historic day was September 19, 1982. 5 Useless Emojis That Make Us Wonder Whether Anyone Uses Them.

Fahlman is called the founder of emoticons. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His usage of the very first emoticon was in an email more like the Bulletin boards exchanged among the staff and faculty. To distinguish among the serious and humorous messages he used the ASCII-based  computer terminals to mark the messages. He also used the :-( emoticon to mark the post as to be taken seriously. It was later that it became associated with sadness or despair. Apple to Introduce 13 New Emojis for People with Disabilities: Proposal Sent to Unicode Consortium. 

After the first usage, it spread quickly and caught on with other universities. And within a few months, there were dozens of such characters and 'smileys' developed into their category. People made use of alphabetical letters and became creative with these expressions. Today, the ones without a nose have become too common. Eventually Microsoft turned these characters into smiley faces automatically. Scott felt it 'destroys the whimsical element of the original.'

Talking about the influence of smileys all over the world today, Scott Fahlman was quoted to Culture Trip, "This was 10 minutes of my life, just part of a silly online discussion more than 35 years ago. So, it’s kind of a strange thing to be famous for, but it’s fun to be a little bit famous for something. I’ve come to accept that no matter what I achieve in my career as an AI researcher, the first sentence of my obituary will talk about the smiley face invention. If I’ve prevented some online misunderstandings along the way, and if people have had fun with these things, then I guess that 10 minutes was well spent."