I was putting away my ducky thank-you notes from Mrs. L’s class when I noticed something else interesting.  These kids hand-write something that I thought was only typed: sideways emoticons.

Way back in the pre-intertubal age, people might close an informal note with a smiley face not unlike the one on those yellow buttons, a circle enclosing two or three dots and a wide U shape.  But once we all started keyboarding, we had to turn sideways (usually to the left) to make a smiley face out of a colon : sometimes a dash – and a right/closed parenthesis )


Of course, this has spawned endless variations.  About half my DonorsChoose thank-you notes employed a hand-written noseless open-mouth smiley.  An expression of joy and thankfulness if ever I saw one.


Kudos to Karina for the triple standard smiley and a “correctly” oriented 😀 at the end.  FTW, I guess.  Interesting that she writes (: and not 🙂 which seems more common in typing.  Maybe she’s a lefty.

For those still befuddled, you can use Skype to convert a pretty good array of punctuation emoticons into round yellow faces.  Some are even animated.

Lest you think “ugh, kids these days” note that these typographic sideways smiles have been employed by major corporations, notably in the naming of the Samsung 🙂 best described by C|Net thusly:  If you don’t mind the small keyboard and can get past the cringe-inducing name, T-Mobile’s Samsung Smiley is an easy-to-use messaging phone.”

Also, at least according to some clever wags, the Scion xD was named for the eye-scrunching joy of driving a sporty compact.  Your mileage may vary.