What Are Smileys?

Showing Your Mood



Smileys are a way to show someone your emotions when they can't see you. We all know that the tone of someone's voice or the expression on his or her face often makes a big difference in the meaning of what he or she is trying to say. For instance, if your mother smiles and quietly says, "Supper is ready." you can probably get by without going to eat right at that moment. On the other hand, if your mother has an angry look on her face and yells, "Supper is ready!" you know that you better run to the table as fast as you can!

Usually we can tell how someone feels simply by his or her facial expressions alone. Normally, when you're chatting or reading emails you can't see or hear the other person. This makes it very difficult to realize what mood he or she is in or how he or she is feeling. One way people have learned to overcome this difficulty on the Internet is by using "smileys" and "emoticons." Smileys are the combination of a few keyboard characters used to make a face to show someone else how you feel or what mood you are in.

There are also other ways to convey your emotions without using smileys. Some people prefer to enclose a word or phrase inside of parenthesis, asterisks, quotation marks, or other characters. Some examples are: (Laughs out loud), *Coughs*, and "Smiles at you". Things like: oO(thinking), can be used to show a thought. Other people prefer to use abbreviations like: LOL (Laugh out loud), BRB (Be right back), and OMG (Oh my goodness). Many people use a combination of them all.

Emoticons are another way to express your emotions. The name "emoticon" comes from "emotion + icon." An emoticon is a small picture of something. Many people like to use them in their emails, chats, and instant messages. The picture is normally of a face, but it can also be of other things. Some chat rooms and instant messenger programs will automatically transform a smiley into an emoticon.

Below is a list of smileys that you can use in your emails and chats. Keep in mind that you can always invent your own smileys, but I would try to make them easy to understand if you do. If you don't make them easy to understand, the other person may not know what they mean. There are probably thousands of different ways to show emotions using symbols. Experiment with them all. Before long you will find yourself doing it all the time like I do. ;-)

Smiley    Represents
~:o      Baby
:-D      Big Smile
!-(      Black Eye
:-B      Buck Teeth
%-)      Confused
:-S      Confused/Bad Taste
<):-)      Cowboy
:'(      Crying
:*(      Crying
X-(      Dead/Mad
>:->      Devil
+:-)      Doctor/Priest
<:-)      Dunce
|-)      Eyes Closed/Asleep
B-)      Glasses
8-)      Glasses/Eyes Wide
B:-)      Glasses on Head
$-)      Going to be Rich
:-)      Happy/Smile
[:-)      Headphones/Walkman
:-x      Kiss
:-#      Lips Sealed/Braces
L:-)      Loser
:{)      Moustace
@}--      Rose
:-(      Sad
:->      Sarcastic Smile
:-]      Sarcastic Smile/Smile
=:-O      Scared
:-|      Serious
8-O      Shocked
:-\      Skeptical
:o)      Smile with Big Nose
:)      Smile without Nose
:-+      Sour Taste
:-O      Surprised
:-V      Talking a Lot
:-I      Thinking
:-P      Tounge Out
=:)      Troll
:-E      Vampire
:-[      Vampire
:-))      Very Happy
:-((      Very Sad
:-C      Very Sad
;-)      Wink
<|:-)      Witch

Remember that these are only a few of hundreds of smileys. Try altering the smileys by interchanging the eyes, noses, and mouths. You can use other characters as well. Smileys are only one way to show how you feel. You may prefer using a different method like enclosing a word or phrase that describes how you feel within parenthesis, asterisks, or quotation marks. No matter which method you choose, experiment with designing your own personal emotions. Don't limit yourself to the few smileys I have shown here. Have fun, and start smiling with Smileys! :-)

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