Twenty five years ago, Carnegie Melon University Professor Scott E Fahlman used the first three strokes what we know as :-) These symbols are expressions we casually show in emails, chat rooms, messengers, etc. composed of several keyboard characters we use to express emotions.
Recently, Smiley turned 25 on 19th September and to mark the anniversary, Fahlman and his colleagues are starting an annual student contest for innovation in technology for expressions. The competition is held by the Carnegie Mellon University and Prizes are sponsored by Yahoo. The Smiley Award carries a $500 cash prize! I gather, Fahlman posted the emoticon in a message to a online BBS (Bulletin Board Posts) as he proposed it as a joke marker character showing humour or positive feelings with a smile and the reverse of the parenthesis to form a frown :-(
After many years, I visited Scott Fahlman's site today. Currently, he seems to be working on am working on Scone, a practical system that can represent a large body of real-world knowledge and that can efficiently perform the kinds of search and inference that seem so effortless for humans. Too high end learning for me yet, take a look at the site and this sure is Interesting!
And here's with the Smiley day just gone, I remember all those smileys and frowns I got with winks and yawning, angelic and devilish too - as I passed through ICQ, Talkcity, Yahoo Messengers and even India Times and many more Chatrooms. Kidsfreesouls has the Smileys Here - The Unofficial Smiley Faq for use and you can even add more of your smileys here 0:-) Enjoy!
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