Communication has various forms of manifesting itself. Language and writing is only a form of conveying a message. With the Internet, communicating has advanced to a whole new level. Conveying emotions through writing has always been a daunting task. The difficulty in the conveyance of emotions gave rise to the need for emoticons in the day-to-day interaction over the world wide web. It has not been noted when the emoticon was first used, but the earliest credit has been attributed to Scott Fahlman in 1982. Before that, it has been widely acclaimed, in 1979, Kevin Mackenzie, came up the tongue-in-cheek which was something like this -). But the reaction to his suggestion, was not too encouraging. These days, the trend is free emoticons. It is possible to download them as per need.
Smileys are famous over the Internet for their happy expressions. They are used as a morale-booster in communication. It was introduced in 1960s and it has gained prominence since then. Smileys are a result of development of the Internet and modern graphics. There have been thousands of graphical smileys and now most of them are animated. The first smileys were smiling faces, but today there are so many varieties to them. The smileys were introduced two decades before the advent of emoticons, there is no doubt that the free emoticons of those days were majorly influenced by smileys.
Purpose of Emoticons
Emoticons have been developed as a replacement of facial expressions to avoid misunderstandings. Recognising the need for emoticons there have been many books that have been written on the subject. Some forums also accept emoticons. For instance, in Internet forums, emoticons change into corresponding images.
In some versions of Microsoft Word, basic emoticons are recognised such as the :) or the :(. With the introduction of richer media in online communication, graphical emotions become more and more popular. As the popularity of animation formats continued to grow, free emoticons started being a part of chat servers like Windows Live Messenger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Skype, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
Many chat sites allow the usage of emoticons to help effective communication. There are various sites where one can download free emoticons if one does not have the required ones. There are millions of categories of emoticons that are available. There are different versions of the usage of emoticons though. Few people use a "left-handed smiley" which goes something like (:. This can cause miscommunication, because it can also be interpreted as a frown. East Asian emoticons are a different genre. It is usually in the format where the superscripts are the eyes and the underscore is the mouth. Here are some of the East Asian characters listed below:
^_^ Smiley Emoticons
> .< sad, oh no
T_T flowing tears
There is a western style of emoticons which is used by most of the world. The list of emoticons and their meanings are given below:
|_p cup of coffee