A Brief 'Net Primer

Smilely Dictionary

Like prehistoric cave dwellers, the devotees of electronic bulletin-boards and "e-mail" have struggled to find a new way to express themselves. Wall painting would not work. Words, it seems, are not enough. Inarticulate sounds cannot be displayed on screens. To make their messages feel more like personal contact, they have hit on using the punctuation marks on an ordinary keyboard in order to pull faces at each other. To read these signs, you have to put your head on your left shoulder.


The basic unit is:


the "smiley", a standard smiling face. In context, this can mean "I'm happy to hear from you", or other pleasantries. The smiley can also wink:


or frown:


among other things. The language can express many things about the user's appearance:

8-) :-{) :-Q @:-)

These signs mean, respectively, that the user wears sunglasses, has a moustache, smokes, wears a turban. The smiley can also indicate some subtleties of mood and response:

:-D :-/ :-e :-7 :-X

These mean that he is laughing, is sceptical, is disappointed, is wry, is keeping his lips sealed.

The Unofficial Smilie Dictionary

:-) Your basic smilie. This smilie is used to inflect a sarcastic or joking statement since we can't hear voice inflection over Unix.

;-) Winky smilie. User just made a flirtatious and/or sarcastic remark. More of a "don't hit me for what I just said" smilie.

:-( Frowning smilie. User did not like that last statement or is upset or depressed about something.

:-I Indifferent smilie. Better than a Frowning smilie but not quite as good as a happy smilie

:-> User just made a really biting sarcastic remark. Worse than a :-)

Many of the signs (perhaps the majority in use on America's biggest computer networks) are simply absurd fun, verging on the unintelligible:

:-F *:o) +-:-) @=

The user is a buck-toothed vampire with one tooth missing, is a clown, holds religious office, is pro-nuclear. Now you know what electronic mail is used for.

Somewhat less common smilies:

(-:	User is left handed
%-)	User has been staring at a green screen for 15 hours straight
:*)	User is drunk
[:]	User is a robot
8-)	User is wearing sunglasses
B:-)	Sunglasses on head
:B)	User is nearsighted and wears half glasses on nose
::-)	User wears normal glasses
(:-)	User is Jewish
`;-|        I am Spock. Live long and prosper
B-)	User wears horn-rimmed glasses
:-{)	User has a mustache
:-{)	User wears lipstick
{:-)	User wears a toupee
}:-(	Toupee in an updraft
:-[	User is a Vampire
:-E	Bucktoothed vampire
:-F	Bucktoothed vampire with one tooth missing
:-7	User juust made a wry statement
:-*	User just ate something sour
:-)~	User drools
:-)=	User has a beard
:-)>	User has a goatee
:-~)	User has a cold
:'-(	User is crying
:'-)	User is so happy, s/he is crying
:-@	User is screaming
:-#	User wears braces
:^)	User has a broken nose
:v)	User has a broken nose, but it's the other way
:_)	User's nose is sliding off of his face
&:-)	User is having a bad hair day
:<)	User is from an Ivy League School
:-&	User is tongue tied
=:-)	User is a hosehead
-:-)	User is a punk rocker
-:-(	(real punk rockers don't smile)
%-6	User is braindead
[:-)	User is wearing a walkman
(:I	User is an egghead
:=)	User has two noses
+-:-)	User is the Pope or holds some other religious office
`:-)	User shaved one of his eyebrows off this morning
,:-)	Same thing...other side
|-I	User is asleep
|-O	User is yawning/snoring
:-Q	User is a smoker
:-?	User smokes a pipe
O-)	Megaton Man On Patrol! (or else, user is a scuba diver)
O :-)	User is an angel (at heart, at least)
:-P	Nyahhhh!
:-S	User just made an incoherent statement
:-D	User is laughing (at you!)
:-X	User's lips are sealed
:-C	User is really bummed
:-/	User is skeptical
C=:-)	User is a chef
@=	User is pro-nuclear war
*<:-)	User is wearing a Santa Claus Hat
:-o	Uh oh!
(8-o	It's Mr. Bill!
*:o)	And Bozo the Clown!
3:]	Pet smilie
3:[	Mean Pet smilie
d8=	Your pet beaver is wearing goggles and a hard hat
E-:-)	User is a Ham radio operator
:-9	User is licking his/her lips
<:-I	User is a dunce
K:P	User is a little kid with a propeller beenie
@:-)	User is wearing a turban
:-0	No Yelling! (Quiet Lab)
:-:	Mutant Smilie
            The invisible smilie
.-)	User only has one eye
,-)	Ditto...but he's winking
X-(	User just died
8 :-)	User is a wizard
C=}>;*{))	Mega-Smilie... A drunk, devilish chef with a toupee
             in an updraft, a mustache, and a double chin 



Note: A lot of these can be typed without noses to make midget smilies.

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Magic Publishing. All rights reserved.