The True Story of Smiley Faces
on 8/12/2006 (3)
Smiley faces are a wonderful, glorious creation. It was the famous war general Stevie Patten that put it best when he said "Smiley faces are great :)". Exactly how he dictated a smiley face out loud is as unknown as is why a famous general is making comments about smiley faces, but the sentiment isn't lost on this technicality.
Smiley faces mean all things to all people, or at least some things to people that spend way too much time on Internet chartrooms and web blogs. Smiley faces can mean you're overly happy about something or wittily sarcastic about something. The great thing is, there is no way to know for sure the context of a smiley face. That means you can never screw up their use. Well, maybe you could if you're a total moron :)
You could tell a man he was going to die within the hour and he'd be okay with it if you ended your sentence with a smiley face. You could lure a bear into a man's camper but as long as you said "Have fun :)", he wouldn't mind. Hell, I'm fairly certain that if Hitler were to ever have said "My Bad :)", he would have been forgive for that whole holocaust thing. Actually that's pushing it a bit, but you get the idea.
Things weren't always this way. There was once a time when smiley faces didn't exist, a dark age when people had to watch what they said and were enslaved by a race of mutant shrimp. Well, the shrimp part isn't exactly true. Or maybe it is :)
And then came along the great American thinker Arnie Franklin. Arnie was the younger brother of the more famous, more handsome, and easily more successful Benjamin Franklin, who is credited with such amazing inventions as electricity and oatmeal.
Despite my clear misdirection in the previous paragraph, Arnie Franklin was neither great nor a thinker. He also wasn't attractive and he smelled badly because of a crippling fear of shower monsters. But he was the butt of numerous jokes and unfavorable comparisons to his far more successful brother so that must count for something.
One day, after a particularly negative tirade about his clear inferiority to his brother by a drunken hobo, Arnie simply stated "He's great :)". And so a new age was born. Consequently, Arnie was killed for poor grammar by an angry mob of English teachers, but years later he was embraced by the Internet revolution. Not that he cared, he was dead.
And now, thanks to pioneers like Arnie who selflessly gave their lives for the greater good of humanity, smiley faces run rampart across the globe. Rarely can you ever see a sentence written by a 13-year-old girl that doesn't include a :) or two. And even rarer will you see an online role-playing game questing session go by without not only numerous smiley faces but also the smiley's arch-nemesis, the frowny face. Sometimes, if you watch really carefully, you may even see their distant cousin, the winking-smiley face.
As the years go by, smiley faces continue to evolve. It's not uncommon these days to see an animated smiley face or even one that speaks to you. Many third-world counties these days are even ruled over by smiley faces. Ever heard of Ecuador? Yet despite how fancy and how powerful they may get, their humble message always remains the same. And that messag
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