The wonderful guitarist and looper Bill Walker wondered:
BTW is there a universal symbol
for irony or sarcasm ? Sometimes the smiley face doesn't quite cut it.
I found this page:
with this text—interesting stuff . . .
1. Twenty years ago today a computer scientist from
2. Fahlman's September 19 1982 message posted on a university message board has gone down in internet folklore as the year zero of smiley language. :-)
4. Yet despite this momentous invention, Fahlman has never made a penny from it. He did not realise what a popular new language he had invented on that September day, he never thought to patent it or even to keep a record of the day himself. :-(
5. However, a debate has arisen over whether Fahlman is the true inventor of the smiley. According to the Internet Tip's brief history of the smiley, a man called Kevin MacKenzie sent the first smiley in an email on April 12 1979. His emoticon was the symbol -) meaning "tongue in cheek". 8-]
7. Smileys have evolved so far that they are now used in everyday internet conversations along with other abbreviations such as lol and brb. The Newbie Profile provides a useful, if somewhat confusing guide to using smileys in messages. 8~/