Lauren Drell: "If a picture is worth a thousand words, what's an emoticon worth?"
The fun thing is:
"This story is incorrect. I have already gone on the university website which published this information and pointed out that emoticons were used by the Defence forces of both Australia and the USA when I was in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Telecommunications operator in 1979. As far as I am aware, telex operators and computer operators were using these symbols long before that. The birth of the emoticon as a communications tool may never be settled, but I can unequivocally say that Mr. Fahlman may have been the first to use them where he was located at the time, but a quick check with Defence or Post Office personnel will quickly debunk him as the originator worldwide."
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Via The Digital Rocking Chair