Whether it’s to convey a joke or to just lighten the mood of a conversation, we’ve all used a smiley face or two in our digital communications. Unless you are wont to peruse Wikipedia’s “Notable People” section of one of Cleveland’s suburbs, though, you’re probably unaware that the lil’ emoticon can trace its roots back to a Northeast Ohio native.
Scott Fahlman, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, grew up in Medina, and coined the cute face in 1982 while conversing with colleagues on a message board, Fahlman recently told the Medina Gazette
Thanks to Fahlman, we can express one of the most basic human emotions via text, or even be insulting while hiding behind the guise of the emoticon’s cheery expression.
The Internet wouldn’t be the same without it. :-)