Saturday, 25 September 2010

Mixed Emoticons

Some time back, well I can place it between Oct 1997 and mid 1998, I went looking for information about 'smilies,' or 'emoticons' as the are now often called. The internet was a much smaller place, so finding information was (in some ways) easier; but equally, search engines weren't everything we might expect today, and so finding information was (in some ways) harder [ was my weapon of choice, tho' I used others].

In 1995 a friend had printed on A4 the symbols *:O) and stuck it to her fridge. This was my first encounter with the idea of making faces using ASCII. Whilst I had known about Bulletin Boards and the like, they weren't something I'd had much opportunity to play with; though I was computer minded, I had not been exposed to various esoteric elements that we now take for granted.

So there I was, on a dull Friday afternoon, working for Seele (UK) Ltd, looking after their network at the London Fruit and Wool Exchange (lovely place, actually); I dialled up to wander the web, something that wasn't really a common thing to do. I typed in Penny's hieroglyphic to see what else there was about of a similar format. Scott Fahlman's Smiley Lore page already existed, which was a good read - this was before the concerted effort by Microsoft and others to find his original post in 1982 which suggested :-) as a way of highlighting that a thought should be taken lightly.

I also found a few pages which listed out known derivatives - those we know well, like wink ;-) tongue out :-p etc, but also a collexion of many and varied peculiar and artful items. However, I saw a gap. Something was missing. Thus I submitted my contribution to the smiley world, and it made it on to a number of pages which have long since disappeared.

It was 'Davy Crockett'


I give it again in support of all those whose frontiers are wild - may they become kings (and queens) in such places.

No comments:

Post a Comment