Smiley Emoticons

The word Emoticon is a combination of the words Emotion and Icon, and the terms Smileys and Smilies are also used to refer to Emoticons. Emoticons are a illustrative way of expressing emotions, attitude, feelings and the words of your message, adding clarity to the intent of the message.

An Emoticon (or Smiley) is a string of regular characters found on the computer keyboard. Emoticons are used in e-mail, chat, SMS and other forms of communication using computers. The most popular emoticons are the smiling faces (smileys or similes) that are used to set the reader at ease regardless of the words of the message. In its simplest keyboard form a smiley is created by using the colon which depicts the eyes, the dash forming the nose and the right parenthesis representing the mouth shaped as a smile (the use of the left parenthesis would shape a frown or show sadness). Alternately the use of a semi-colon for the colon would totally transform the expression to a “wink” and replacing the parenthesis with the letter “s” signifies confusion.
Although the words ‘Smileys’ and ‘Emoticons’ are used interchangeably and are somewhat tantamount they are slightly different in their symbol.

Emoticons can be used to refer to any icon that has meaning whilst a Smiley is generally reserved for yellow faces of different expressions such as laughter, anger, sadness and happiness. Smiley Emoticons are commonly used on the Internet more so in blogs, forums, Instant Messaging, and email. Smileys add a human touch to the otherwise cold and inhuman nature of Internet communication.

There are generally two forms of emoticons, the static (not animated) icons and the more trendy animated emoticons. Customer emoticons are accessible in some applications such as MSN Messenger allowing users to insert their own emoticons and use them in conversations.
These emoticons were limited to a maximum size of 19×19 pixels and could not be animated.

With the advent of MSN Messenger 7 in late 2004, Winks were established and the emoticon controls were increased to 50×50 pixels and permitted animations. Emoticon designs could now comprise much more features thanks to the improved size and animation capabilities.
Smiley Emoticons are available from most websites including smileycentral.com which is one of the largest; however for a quick treat a few taps on specific keys on the keyboard can give your message completely new meaning.

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