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Emoticon for irony--OT?

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 the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA named Scott Fahlman first suggested the use of a smiley, or emoticon, as a way of expressing sarcasm of irony in emails to the humourously challenged. ;-)

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. :-)

3. Fahlman explains the origins of the emoticon in his smiley lore. The emoticon has become so popular that an Emoticon News Bureau has been created to monitor events in the world of the smiley. :~/

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-]

6. No matter who invented it, the Hacker's Dictionary describes the emoticon as a vital way to prevent misunderstandings between hackers that could lead to arguments and flame wars! :-0

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~/