The First Smiley :-)

Old Blog Import

The smiley :-) and its many variants are an important (and fun!) part of the worldwide online social culture — allowing emotions to be conveyed in plain text. It has been in widespread use since the early 80s, when it was first proposed. Yet the original message in which the smiley was invented had been lost — until now. :-) After a significant effort to locate it, on September 10, 2002 the original post made by Scott Fahlman on CMU CS general bboard was retrieved by Jeff Baird from an October 1982 backup tape of the spice vax (cmu-750x). Here is Scott’s original post:

19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman <img src="" alt=":-)" class="wp-smiley" /><br /> <br /> From: Scott E Fahlman <Fahlman at Cmu-20c>

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:

<img src="" alt=":-)" class="wp-smiley" />

Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark<br /> <br /> things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use


The First Smiley :-)