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Emoticon Celebrates 30th Birthday

September 21, 2012 by  

PITTSBURGH, (UPI) —  The smiley face emoticon has marked the 30th anniversary of its creation by a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The collection of characters, which is designed to denote happiness or that a typewritten message was not meant seriously, turned 30 Wednesday, the anniversary of the day Carnegie Mellon computer scientist Scott Fahlman first posted it on an online bulletin board, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

“If someone made a sarcastic remark, a few readers would fail to get the joke, and each of them would post a lengthy diatribe in response,” Fahlman said on Carnegie Mellon’s website.

“The problem caused some of us to suggest (only half seriously) that maybe it would be a good idea to explicitly mark posts that were not to be taken seriously,” he wrote. “In the midst of that discussion it occurred to me that the character sequence :-) would be an elegant solution … So I suggested that.”

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