Open Thread

A Character Sequence for Joke Markers

Join Slate’s open thread for the week of September 19.

Two big models of poo emoji seen outside Downing Street gates
Poo emoji sculptures outside Downing Street after the British Trades Union Congress We Demand Better rally on June 18 in London. Hollie Adams/Getty Images

On this day in 1982, Scott Fahlman created the smiley and frowny face emoticons (with noses) for a Carnegie Mellon message board which had problems distinguishing joke posts from serious ones. The use of :-)and :-( were proposed to denote whether one was serious or only joking, which was the first use of emoticons to have been documented. Nowadays, of course, we have the much superior emoji characters, and antique methods of communication involving brackets and colons and whatnot are no longer necessary, or wanted, in any circumstances at all. 😉

You may use this page to discuss the use, misuse, underuse, and overuse of both emoticons and their emoji offspring, or engage in your own freewheeling, off-topic discourse. Find previous discussions in the Open Thread archive. Excepting the entreaty that you remain on topic, all of Slate’s usual commenting policies apply.

If you depend on this community and Slate’s journalism, please consider joining Slate Plus. We appreciate your support.