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In defence of the smiley

It is time to give the emoticon the praise it deserves

By Sam Leith   November 2012

30 years after it was invented, the smiley still serves a valuable purpose

🙂 and the world :-)s with you. This was the discovery made 30 years ago this autumn by Scott Fahlman, a professor in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon University in the US, when he proposed that humorous posts on his departmental message board be marked with a sideways smiley face to make clear that they were intended as jokes.

He has been credited with inventing the emoticon. Now, the blessed things are everywhere. The…

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