These days it is hard to find a forum or discussion board that does not use free emoticons. If you are not familiar with them, they are the ones you use for showing your emotion, voice inflection and mood that would otherwise not be possible. Without emoticons, it won’t be possible and what you’re saying could be misinterpreted.
The most frequently used emoticon is the smiley which is created by typing the colon for the eyes and for the smile the parenthesis. When put together the result would look like :). The smile becomes obvious if you tilt your head sideways. There is a variation of this smile. One way to do it is by placing a dash between the parenthesis and the colon like this 🙂
Both types of emoticons are designed to convey a joke, facetiousness, happiness and lightheartedness. A good example of how effective free emoticons can be is to use the following example.
Yeah you look sillyâ€¦ and compare that with:
Yeah you look silly 🙂
As you can see there’s a huge difference between the two. Without the smiley the person you are chatting with might mistake your joke for an insult. By simply adding an emotion, the person you are talking to will know that you are joking. For this reason, emoticons can be very useful when it comes to chatting with strangers.
Why Emoticons are Important
It goes without saying that these emoticons are essential for online communications and is very necessary among those people who chat regularly but have never met in real life. As anyone who has ever gone to online forums and discussion boards will tell you, simple misunderstandings online can quickly turn into a flame war. With the help of these emoticons, such incidents can be reduced or prevented.
Other Types of Emoticons
While the smiley has become very popular and is the standard, other types have emerged and are now used. So many kinds of emoticons have come up and some are popular only with a specific website or forum. But there are a lot of other emoticons besides the smiley that have become standard.
Among the most common types of emoticons are the following. >:-\ mad, >:-\ mad,:-D laughing hard and 😛 sticking out the tongue and smiling. You will also see emoticons like the following: :-/ smirk or confused, >:) mischievous grin, :(““ sad or crying and 😉 wink.
These emoticons may seem new but they were actually invented back in September 1982 by Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist. Some of the other early emoticons were <VBG> = very big grin, <G> = big grin and <g> = grin although they never really caught on.
Animated and graphical emoticons are also slowly taking the place of acronyms like LOL laughing out loud, HTH hope that helps, OTOH on the other hand and IIRC if I recall correctly. But these acronyms, except for LOL and ROFL, never really caught on.
If you want to use free emoticons, just go online and you will find a lot of websites that have them. Apart from smileys, other types are now available and can be used anytime. In fact, a lot of discussion boards have these and you just need to click on one to include it in your post.