If you want to see a list of smileys that you, the Community, have suggested, then check out the h2g2 Smiley Ideas List.
The original smiley was created in 1964 by commercial artist Harvey Ball, who died in August 2001 aged 79. A few decades ago, smileys were virtually unknown on Earth, but once they migrated to the Internet their population exploded in email and chat rooms, and new strains developed which are now to be found throughout the World Wide Web.
Much research has been devoted to understanding the structure of smileys and it was discovered that they are essentially simple lifeforms. For example, typing :-) at the keyboard denotes a smiling face, and ;-) denotes a smiling face with one eye winking: the derivation of smileys as combinations of colons, dashes and brackets becomes obvious if you tilt your head through 90 degrees to the left... The claim to be the first person to use this system on the Internet belongs to Scott Fahlman, who attended Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and supposedly used an emoticon on the CMU Bulletin Board between early 1981 and mid 1982. While there are, of course, rival claims, this one is the most widely recognised.
Smileys on h2g2
There are a bewildering array of smileys on h2g2, falling into ten - yes, that's ten - categories - yes, that's categories! Just click on these links to access the categories:
- Smileys: Actions
- Smileys: Animals
- Smileys: The Cosmos
- Smileys: Drink
- Smileys: Emotions
- Smileys: Food
- Smileys: Miscellaneous
- Smileys: People
- Smileys: Seasonal
- Smileys: Supernatural
However, you can see the new additions in our marvellous 2011 Advent Collection below. Clicking on smileys, wherever they appear, will take you to an explanation of what the smiley is and how to use it in GuideML entries.
Special thanks must go to the creators of these smileys: Dr Anthea, Tavaron, Minichessemouse, Aurora, and most of all, Malabarista, who worked far beyond the call of duty in the creation of these mini works of art. Without them there would be no new smileys, so we're all extremely grateful to them!