emoticon is a term that evolved in internet culture from mailing list and usenet users.
(something I've always wondered is how to pronounce the word. "emote-icons"?, "emohshicons"?)
During the early days, someone [anyone have more details here?] used the ASCII string :-) to indicate a smile.
Re: History of "emoticons" try: http://www.fastcompany.com/launch/launch_feature/emoticon.html or Google for "Scott Fahlman" -- Dave Griffin
Since that time, many emoticons have evolved [someone want to put some urls here to emoticon encyclopedias - preferably freely distributable ones??]
In recent years, several of the graphical messaging clients have added a graphical touch - converting ascii strings typed by the users into some icon.
Tkchat recently added this functionality. Some of the emoticons it supports includes:
:-( :^( :( - cry! 8-( 8^( 8( 8-| 8^| 8| - growl LOL lol - Laugh Out Loud >:( >:-( >:^( - mad :-o :^o :o :-O :^O :O - surprise :-) :^) :) - smile :-D :^D :D - big smile <:-) <:^) <:) - dorky smile 8-) 8^) 8) - smiley with glasses :-p :^p :p - animated smiley with tongue ;/ ;-/ ;^/ :/ :-/ :^/ 8/ 8-/ 8^/ - smirk with glasses :-P :^P :P - smiley with tongue, 2 (: (^: (-: - upside down ;-) ;^) ;) - animated wink :-| :^} :8} :} - blush |O| |o| |0| - gone to eat zz zzz zzZ zZZ ZZZ ZZ - gone to sleep LP |_P - A reference to coffee/tea/beer/et cetera (the shape is similar to a cup).
BBH notes that versions as of 42 supports a /smile command (or /smiles /smiley /smileys) to display a window with all the emoticons & which ascii triggers them
KDCinfo - 2012-11-16 18:45:48
For sleep, I've always used: ...zzzZZZzzz...