Dictionary.com

You may not like it, but we all use them. Whether it is in a text message, an instant chat, or a casual email, emoticons appear in written communication to indicate the tone, humor or feeling of a message. As communication moves away from personal interaction to a text-only environment, emoticons fill the void left by the absence of the tone of voice and facial expression that add connotation and intent to a message. The word emoticon is a portmanteau of “emotion” and “icon.”

Emoticons clearly are instruments of communication, but what are they, exactly? Are they words? To use the dictionary definition, an emoticon smiley face fulfills only part of the definition of a word: It is a unit that functions as a principle carrier of communication, but it doesn’t consist of morphemes and cannot be spoken. Emoticons are not words.

Are they symbols? Emoticons have a complex associated meaning separate from that which they symbolize. Also, the meaning of an emoticon is derived from the context in which it appears. Yes, emoticons are symbols, but what kind of symbol?

According to Dennis Howe, author of the Dictionary of Computing, emoticons are glyphs. A glyph is a pictograph. The term dates to the turn of the 18th century and is taken from Greek via French for carve, or hollow out. We are most familiar with the word hieroglyph, literally “sacred carving” used to describe ancient Egyptian or Mayan writing. The word glyph is widely used in archeology to describe pictographic language.

More recently, glyph is used in computer terminology to refer to an image in a visual representation of characters. Glyphs are part of a written medium that contributes to meaning but they do not necessarily make up words.

Scott Fahlman is the individual who first suggested the use of emoticons in text-only communication on a listserv for Carnegie Mellon University back in 1982. “I had no idea that I was starting something that would soon pollute all the world’s communication channels,” he has written since.

Cracking the China code; Groupon, the world’s fastest-growing company, struggles to break into the world’s fastest-growing economy.(Company overview)

Crain’s Chicago Business August 22, 2011 Byline: STEVE HENDERSHOT Groupon and China would seem like a natural match: World’s fastest-growing company, meet the world’s fastest-growing economy.

Chicago-based Groupon Inc. spent much of 2010 expanding overseas. The result was that 58% of the company’s $1.52 billion in revenue in the first six months of 2011 came from outside the United States. China seemed a logical fit, not only because of its growing economy, but also because collective buying is an established phenomenon there, providing a built-in audience for Groupon.

But Groupon was slow in building a Chinese presence, and by the time its site, GaoPeng.com, launched there in February, the market was cluttered with more than a thousand rivals. GaoPeng now hovers on the outskirts of China’s top-10 daily-deal sites. The site attracted 2.4 million visitors per day in May, according to iResearch Consulting Group of Beijing, which ranked it in the top 10 in terms of traffic. GaoPeng ranked sixth in the number of deals offered but only 12th in revenue among deals sites in June, according to Dataotuan.com, a deal aggregator based in Shanghai.

The Chinese daily-deal market “is like the Oklahoma land grab, and Groupon is quite late to the party. They came in and expected prime land by a babbling brook, but they just got the panhandle,” says Scott Silverman, Beijing-based regional director for the Asian operations of San Francisco ad agency Godfrey Q & Partners LLC.

Now Groupon is struggling to catch up. As it prepares for an initial public offering it hopes will raise $750 million, the promise of a strong performance in China is central to the notion that Groupon can sustain growth (from $30 million in revenue in 2009 to $713 million last year and about $1.5 billion in the first half of 2011).

Timing, though, is just one of the factors Groupon must overcome to succeed in China. The company also must navigate a series of partnerships in China (and in Europe), then determine how best to tailor its business model for success. Groupon officials decline to comment, citing the Securities and Exchange Commission-enforced pre-IPO quiet period.

Here’s a look at Groupon’s strategy in China–what’s worked so far, what hasn’t, and what the company has to do to become a leader there.

A MEANDERING PATH TO A COMPLEX PARTNERSHIP. Groupon announced last August that it was expanding through acquisitions into Japan and Russia, the same week that the Chinese economy surpassed Japan’s as second-largest. Groupon said at the time that its entrance into Japan “reaffirms our global expansion into Asia,” but the absence of a corresponding move into China raised eyebrows.

That delay may have been due to negotiations with prospective Chinese partners. Groupon attempted to purchase a stake in Beijing-based deal site Lashou.com last fall, but its bid was rejected in November. Lashou was valued at $1.1 billion in a $110-million fundraising round completed in April. The company was China’s leading deals site in May, with a 14.4% marketshare, before falling to 10th in June. Its revenue decline was mostly due to a lower average deal price that month, as Lashou still ranked third in deals offered and sold.

Then, in January, Groupon announced a joint venture with Shenzhen-based Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd., which operates a popular instant-messaging service called QQ. Groupon and Tencent each own a 40% share of GaoPeng, which launched Feb. 27.

“Groupon has done a smart thing in allying with a local partner in Tencent, who has excellent reach among the Internet audience,” says Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting Ltd., a Beijing market research firm.

Mr. Natkin, though, worries that Tencent isn’t as committed to GaoPeng’s success as Groupon is. Tencent has invested in numerous other daily-deal sites, including QQ Tuan (which shares a brand name with Tencent’s messaging service) and Ftuan–sites that ranked first and sixth, respectively, in Dataotuan’s marketshare analysis in June. GaoPeng says QQ Tuan isn’t a direct competitor because QQ Tuan is a deal platform without its own dedicated salesforce, but the arrangement is still troubling to Mr. Natkin, who expects that within six months just two or three daily-deal sites will emerge and lead in China. “The challenge for any foreign Internet firm coming into China and partnering with a domestic company is structuring that partnership in a way that the benefits are equitably divided on a long-term basis.” Rivals say building a strong relationship is especially relevant for Groupon and Tencent, whose attention is focused on maintaining a large audience even as its core messaging business faces competition from Shanghai-based Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site similar to Twitter. in our site groupon houston

“Tencent’s business is being rocked (by Weibo), so they’re doing many experiments like GaoPeng. But they’re not betting on GaoPeng in the same way Groupon is,” says Jack Jia, a partner at GSR Ventures Management Co., an investment firm with offices in Beijing and Palo Alto, Calif. GSR Ventures is an investor in Lashou.

Groupon and Tencent together own 80% of GaoPeng. The remaining 20% is divided evenly between private-equity firm YunFeng Capital and an entity called Rocket Asia. YunFeng was founded by Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma; Hanzhou-based Alibaba’s subsidiaries include the Chinese online retail giant Taobao, which operates its own deal site.

A LACK OF LOCAL PERSPECTIVE? Rocket Asia is owned by Oliver, Marc and Alexander Samwer, brothers whose German daily-deal site, CityDeal, was purchased by Groupon in May 2010. The Samwers are known for cloning popular websites and running the copycat businesses in Germany, a strategy they’ve employed with such sites as eBay, Facebook and eHarmony. EBay ultimately acquired the Samwers’ clone, a tactic Groupon replicated when it bought CityDeal. In the process, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason fell in love with the Samwers.

“We realized that they were among the best operators we’d ever met,” Mr. Mason gushed on Groupon’s blog.

Soon, the Samwers were placed in charge of Groupon’s international expansion, including China. And while GaoPeng’s CEO, Yun Ouyang, came from Tencent, other members of Groupon’s management team in China, including regional managing director Mads Faurholt-Jorgensen, weren’t Chinese.

According to GSR Ventures’ Mr. Jia, the expat approach hasn’t worked. The GaoPeng team’s lack of cultural awareness, coupled with its commitment to scaling its U.S. model rather than modifying it, led to poor product offerings, he says. In contrast, Lashou’s success is based on adopting most of the Groupon model and then making culture-driven adjustments:

– Lashou caters to men in their 20s and 30s, the core dealbuying demographic in China.

– Groupon lures popular businesses to its site by attracting competitors until eventually the market-leading business feels obligated to offer a deal. But in China–particularly the restaurant industry–businesses are more likely to identify competitors based on proximity rather than style of cuisine. Lashou created its strategy accordingly. see here groupon houston

– Groupon has a large salesforce in Chicago that books deals around the country. But regional linguistic differences in China are so dramatic that central call centers don’t work, Mr. Jia says. So Lashou established regional call centers. Food tastes also vary by region: For example, lamb chops are popular in Beijing but are considered “barbarian food” in Shanghai.

“Groupon made a lot of the textbook mistakes that Western companies make in China,” Mr. Jia says. “People assume going to China is like going to Europe, where you just repeat what you do (in the U.S.). But China is a fundamentally different market, and you need to create a unique spin on how you execute that same business idea.” The Samwers’ critics are trying to push them out the door via the rumor mill.

According to a June 10 report from TechCrunch.com, a San Francisco-based tech industry website, the Samwers had left Groupon, and the base of Groupon’s international operations had shifted from Berlin to Chicago. (This was just eight days after Groupon filed its Form S-1 with the SEC; the filing stated that the Samwers are “extensively involved in the development and operations of our International segment.”) Although Groupon officials decline to comment, a representative did confirm that the company’s base of international operations, including China, remains in Berlin, with the Samwers in charge. The representative also refuted a June article in Forbes that claimed Mr. Mason had fired several expatriate managers as part of a move to shift Groupon’s international headquarters to the U.S.

Rumor and fact can blur in China, and despite Groupon’s avowals, the shake-up story is well-known in Beijing and in the tech industry here. Messrs. Silverman, Natkin and Jia had all heard and say they believed the rumor. In fact, each took it as a sign that Groupon was getting its act together in China.

The latest rumor is that GaoPeng has run out of cash in China and is cutting staff in secondary markets and also slashing its advertising budget. Beijing Business Today didn’t identify its source regarding the marketing cutbacks, but Mr. Natkin says a search on Beijing-based ad network Baidu Inc. showed no results for GaoPeng under either “group buy” or “GaoPeng.” Chinese media including the 21st Century Business Herald also have reported that GaoPeng is making substantial staffing cutbacks in Shanghai, as well as in many smaller Chinese markets. Groupon says any staff departures are due to normal attrition and denies that the cutbacks are due to a shortage of cash.

MAKING ENEMIES. If true, those rumors represent a shift for GaoPeng. In January, a Groupon recruitment notice posted at a Chinese university boasted “near to endless funding” and that “compensation is highly, highly competitive,” according to TechCrunch. Lashou CEO Wu Bo said 60% of his employees had been contacted by Groupon-affiliated recruiters, according to multiple Chinese media outlets, and that those recruiters were offering to double and triple his employees’ salaries. In response, Chinese business publication Sohu reported that other daily-deal sites, including Lashou, agreed to blacklist GaoPeng employees from future employment.

That seems like an extreme tactic to use against a fringe competitor, but Mr. Jia says Chinese rivals are watching GaoPeng. “(GaoPeng’s) revenue doesn’t justify it, but with the way they spend money, it’s seemed like the emperor is coming. It’s created a lot of backlash.” Reports of outsize offers also call Groupon’s international spending into question. Groupon still isn’t profitable: It reported a net loss of $225.2 million for the first half of 2011 despite $1.52 billion in revenue for that period. Its North American operation fared a bit better than its international counterpart in the first quarter of 2011 (the most recent quarterly data available). The North American unit took in $279.9 million and posted a loss of $21.8 million. International revenue, by contrast, was $346.8 million, with a loss of $76.5 million.

Groupon’s tough sledding in China also owes to the company’s Super Bowl commercial in February, which poked fun at strife in Tibet. Tibet is a sensitive subject in China–the Chinese Communist Party has controlled Tibet since 1951. When Groupon responded to the ad’s poor reception by pushing donations to the Tibet Fund, it upset the Chinese government.

“Is Groupon failing because of a Super Bowl commercial? No,” says Mr. Silverman of Godfrey Q. “But it’s another reason to guffaw, to chuckle at Groupon’s expense. The Chinese (business community) likes to see foreigners come in here thumping their chests and then not get anything.” GROWTH TAKES TIME. FOR ALL THE HANDWRINGING OVER GAOPENG’S SLOW START, AFTER THREE MONTHS (THE MOST RECENT DATA AVAILABLE) IT HAD SURPASSED THOUSANDS OF COMPETITORS TO REACH THE FRINGE OF THE TOP 10. THE SITE HAS BEEN LIVE FOR ONLY SIX MONTHS.

“GaoPeng may just need a little more time to become better known in the market,” cautions Mark Natkin of Marbridge Consulting in Beijing.

And there are local traits that should give Groupon an opening: “Chinese customers are very price-sensitive,” says Will Tao, an analyst at iResearch. “They care less about brand loyalty.” For a company whose business is built on the premise that it can offer an endless barrage of deals that are too good to pass up, that means there’s hope.

78 Comments

  1. Hemononymous -  October 20, 2013 - 9:57 am

    I use a lot of emoticons, though in real life I don’t really display emotion. I learned most from my friend.
    o u o
    o w o
    ; u ;
    ; n ;
    ; w ;
    ; 3 ;
    o 3 o
    o n o
    > C :U
    >:T
    >:L
    :L
    :T
    ; A ;
    n u n
    ; / / / ;
    “orz
    o / / n / / o
    o / / 3 / / o
    n / / u / / n
    c;
    c:
    ;c
    :c
    ; c ;
    :’c
    c’:

    Pfft. There’s more, but these are just the ones I pulled off the top of my memory.

    Reply
  2. Michi -  January 31, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    >nu///__>

    Was supposed to be
    >nu///__>”

    (if it doesn’t show up right again I apologize)

    Reply
  3. Michi -  January 31, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ , -n- , -u- , ono , ouo, o3o, :B , eue, ene, :3 , >:3 , >:U , DX , XD, D::D , o///o, ;n; , ;u; , ;///; , -___-” , O.o , o.o” , >nu///_> , OTL, orz , :C , C: , :c , c: , =_=” , (>’ u ‘)> , <(' u '<) , T_T", TTnTT , ^^; , *u* , ~(OuO)~ , ,

    Yeh I use alot more these are the ones I thought up in a few seconds. I use emoticons all the time.

    Reply
  4. OnceInABlueMoon -  April 28, 2012 - 12:51 pm

    Here’s my favorite

    OvO
    ) ( <–Owl

    Reply
  5. xjgirl -  December 26, 2011 - 7:14 am

    I use emoticons to show emotion in my messages. If I did not use them I would feel as if I were talking with a blank face, which I doubt I have ever done in real life.

    Reply
  6. Mai -  November 2, 2011 - 7:04 pm

    Is this a emoticon? O___O i use them more then :) <—

    -___-" O____O e___e OuO OnO OuOb :L T____T "orz

    Reply
  7. Annonnymmous -  October 27, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    I’ve almost given up. I’ll try it one more time. If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will.

    Sorry if you can’t see, and if you can, sorry about the periods.

    ..<.(.

    Reply
  8. Annonnymmous -  October 27, 2011 - 8:51 pm

    Still nothing: how ’bout this?

    < ( < (

    Reply
  9. Annonnymmous -  October 27, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    Ok, that last didn’t work. Let’s try this instead

    <( <(
    (School of Fish?)

    Reply
  10. Annonnymmous -  October 27, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    Well, these are really more like on-line hieroglyphs than emoticons, but they work anyways. Here’s my favorite for actual conversations:

    b_(‘L’)_d (Thumbs up!)

    I’m glad I’ve never had a chance to use this one:

    __m_(*L*)_m__ (Creepy guy peeking over a wall… :-0 )

    And my all-time favorite keyboard hieroglyphs:

    <( <(
    (A school of Fish!)

    Reply
  11. innox -  October 26, 2011 - 11:31 pm

    I like this one:
    or2.

    Reply
  12. Caitlyn -  October 26, 2011 - 10:35 am

    I like emoticons for the most part, except I don’t really like the computer pictures that now frequently automatically replace a text emoticon. Maybe I’m just a grouch (<–likely), but I find that these smilies often look… creepy. Such as, I like : ) but the picture substituted here :) looks angry to me.

    Reply
  13. Elise E. -  October 25, 2011 - 10:19 am

    I hardly ever use emoticons, let’s practise
    :D :b :p ;D ;) :) :( :| :o :O B) BD B/ B\ :v :V :^ =D =) =( =| :* ;* ;# :#
    How’d I do?

    Reply
  14. Clear -  October 25, 2011 - 1:33 am

    I use them as and when I like
    cuz they are fun

    Reply
  15. Saxtus -  October 24, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    Hmm. My smily won’t show up.

    Reply
  16. Saxtus -  October 24, 2011 - 6:05 pm
    Reply
  17. Saxtus -  October 24, 2011 - 6:04 pm

    RAWR

    Reply
  18. Arinda -  October 24, 2011 - 11:52 am

    Also, is LOL an abbreviation or is it an acronym?
    ……Or is it both? :S

    Reply
  19. Arinda -  October 24, 2011 - 11:50 am

    ;) Has so much more meaning now. :D

    Reply
  20. Thomas Shen -  October 24, 2011 - 4:17 am

    For me, the question of what emoticons are, is identical to what an exclamation mark is (besides being a punctuation mark). They are “words” that express a mood or feeling rather than representing a linguistic unit. The muscles of the human face accurately express an abundance of feelings which is readily understandable by the receiver. In this sense an emoticon is a symbol that more or less accurately represenents a facial expression which is just as much language as spoken language or body language. Why not give both the exclamation mark and emoticons the term “emoticons”. The exclamation mark would then be a formal emoticon usable (with care) in formal writing. Many other emoticons, like the smiley, would be informal emoticons used in less formal writing, like emails and the like.

    Reply
  21. Billy Bo Bob -  October 23, 2011 - 11:39 pm

    @cyberquill
    @Vacub

    LOL *can* also be an acronym if read as a word (“lawl”). If it’s pronounced letter-for-letter, however (“L-O-L”, “O-M-G”), it’s still an abbreviation.

    Reply
  22. JackieSparrow -  October 23, 2011 - 10:12 pm

    Oh, and LOL can mean EITHER Laugh Out Loud or Lots of Love. But loving ROFL atm!! :)

    Reply
  23. JackieSparrow -  October 23, 2011 - 10:11 pm

    I LOVE using emoticons!! A lot of time I think my writing would be misunderstood (badly, sometimes) if I didn’t use them. And I love finding new ones!! Love :B and @o0o@-koala :) :D :} |:S 8D !!!

    Reply
  24. Vindu -  October 4, 2011 - 7:30 am

    Again as I see it, both blogs are back. But there’s no gurantee. It will go away like the LIGATURES blog. You know my BLOGGER/BLOGG-Friends, it’s that time upon us–Spooky because…Halloween is on its way demanding attention.

    Reply
  25. Vindu -  October 4, 2011 - 7:24 am

    Funny! It happened yet again! I posted a piece and submitted. I noted the number changed from 49 to 50… and yet again it disappeared into thin air!, like the last Saturday’s, the day before, piece that was noted on Sunday, October 2, 2011. It must be magic–DEVELOPPED magic!!!

    Reply
  26. Vindu -  October 4, 2011 - 6:56 am

    Thank hvns, I’m not yet 70 to know, learn and use them–EMOTICONS. I am sure it would be fun… then too!!! :).

    Reply
  27. janey -  October 4, 2011 - 3:15 am

    My friend’s mother assumed LOL meant ‘Lots of love’ rather than ‘Laugh out loud’.

    How amused we were to see her comment on her Facebook page about a friend’s much loved pet…

    “Marjory’s dog has just been put down. LOL”

    She was mortified when she found out….

    Reply
  28. bia -  October 3, 2011 - 10:55 pm

    New fave: :B
    (buck teeth)
    Created that by mistake trying to manually key in a reg happy face on my phn. i saw my typo and it made me seriously LOL! As well as the person i sent it to!

    Reply
  29. Henriette -  October 3, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    In studies, emails without emoticons are misunderstood 80% of the time. People who denigrate the form are seriously misguided as to their helpfulness. I have students who depend on my smiley emoticons to understand when I am being friendly. I live in their culture, where teachers are rarely friendly.

    Reply
  30. Francis -  April 12, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    i mean ;)

    Reply
  31. Francis -  April 12, 2011 - 2:45 pm

    ;),:), :(, and :D

    Reply
  32. OLH064 -  March 31, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    :) I think we’re overdue for emotion symbols. :( Emoticons take up too much space for mood changes in conversation. X0 Most importantly, you can’t express some of the more used emotions! :/ oh, well. I don’t think things will change much, we still represent language in 16 bits, even after 8 doublings of tech power. XD (that’s 256 times more powerful than 1994!)

    Reply
  33. XxfallenangelxX -  March 26, 2011 - 10:56 pm

    >.< I use emotes for everything I type online (unless it's for professional purposes). and the symbol ':3' is a "kitty face" as facebook calls it… Lol

    Reply
  34. sxdCFVGBHNJ -  March 21, 2011 - 10:04 am

    WHAT DOES THIS SYMBOL MEAN? -> :3

    Reply
  35. Marco A. Cruz -  March 17, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    IMHO, I would rather call emoticons: ideograms, in the same sense of ideograms in chinese script.

    Reply
  36. GAELIC | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  March 17, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    [...] Pete of the Boston Celtics to name a few in Americanese — Our ability to communicate without emoticons help to express just how we feel. — The more we’re exposed to History and Culture [...]

    Reply
  37. Kuka -  March 17, 2011 - 10:25 am

    Personally, these “glyphs” really annoy me. Especially when people use them outside of the computer/text life. My friends will sometimes write trivial things on the notes we pass in class, and I almost ALWAYS find SOMEONE who makes a “:)” or “XD” or “:D”. It is the honestly one of the most irritating things for me. The whole point of typing those emoticons out is that you can’t physically draw them upright on the screen; but when you handwrite them out, it just loses all of the effect of the intentional emotion.

    Reply
  38. Miley -  March 17, 2011 - 3:56 am

    (^_^) *@-@*

    Reply
  39. Marco A Cruz -  March 16, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    @)-> >>>—> ♥

    Reply
  40. joj -  March 15, 2011 - 9:20 am

    nice to know :)

    Reply
  41. Kelly -  March 15, 2011 - 8:46 am

    LOL stands for Laugh Out Loud. A glyph is a general word for a written symbol, as in the Mayan or Egyptian ones, or as a synonym for letter.

    Reply
  42. João -  March 15, 2011 - 8:32 am

    Portuguese “jeito” also is a tough one to translate accurately — roughly, having a knack, and “dar um jeito” refers to a way of accomplishing something using methods beyond or apart from the ordinary or expected (or perhaps even legal).

    Reply
  43. wmw -  March 15, 2011 - 8:27 am

    I love them. I used them. I like to express my feeling through them. and the person or ppl from the other side of the line. understand perfectly my intentions, my emotions and my sense of humor. for all this reasons, I will keep putting them in every text that require human emotions. I <3 this article. It made me ; 0 and : ) at the same time. Thank you for information

    Reply
  44. cnut -  March 15, 2011 - 7:59 am

    Please note the following typo: “”principal”, not “principle” carrier of communication”.

    An interesting piece nevertheless.

    Reply
  45. caitlyn -  March 15, 2011 - 6:33 am

    XD

    Reply
  46. Mtn Dew girl -  March 15, 2011 - 4:40 am

    ;)

    Reply
  47. hewhosaysfish -  March 15, 2011 - 2:36 am

    Yes, “LOL” is an acronym, an abbreviation for “laughs out loud”, but what do you call it when someone includes “laughs out loud” (abbreviated or otherwise) in a communication?
    That seems to me to be the more difficult part of the question “what do you call ‘LOL’?”

    Reply
  48. ya mum loves ME! more then you. -  March 14, 2011 - 11:44 pm

    i love emoticons, right now my favorite is :3

    Reply
  49. Ray -  March 14, 2011 - 11:35 pm

    I call them, ASCII-moes (cf Eskimo, totem poles)–

    :ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
    +
    :moe somebody-anybody, (cutie Jap., Bud Jap.).

    [|:-0)X===\\ (a madrigal singer)

    *(6^8)# (a warm skibunny)

    Reply
  50. jasmine -  March 14, 2011 - 11:32 pm

    thanks for the info. I’ve been using such emoticons most of the time esp when texting a friend to give emphases the emotions I want to convey. I thought that are words, thanks I know now that it’s symbol.

    KUDOS!

    I think LOL is an acronym.

    Reply
  51. Pi -  March 14, 2011 - 10:02 pm

    LOL is of course an acronym.

    Indeed, emoticons are a form of primitive communication, which resemble glyphs. Since a glyph is more accurately a form of ‘carved pictograph’, it would make more sense to describe emoticons as pictographs. I am particularly pleased with Dictionary.Com’s use of the word ‘glyph’ and not ‘hieroglyph’. After all, the word ‘hieroglyph’ ( = hiero + glyph) clearly indicates something carved that holds a ‘holy’ or ‘mystical’ significance of sorts, much like the superstitious ancient Egyptian idolaters often believed about their glyphs.

    Reply
  52. one who should not be named -  March 14, 2011 - 9:16 pm

    i am glad there is emotions because how would we EXPRESS ourselfs?emotions are helpful to know one’s feeling :) :) :) :) :)

    Reply
  53. Unneesa -  March 14, 2011 - 8:45 pm

    I think LOL is an abbreviation… isn’t it?

    Reply
  54. leslie -  March 14, 2011 - 7:34 pm

    how do u not luv them! they are cute N fun!!!

    Reply
  55. hannah -  March 14, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    @)–>——- ♥

    Reply
  56. SmileYourMomChoseLife -  March 14, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    haha wow :D
    thats cool :D
    glyphs huh? i feel so smart[:

    Reply
  57. blah -  March 14, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    :’(

    Reply
  58. blah -  March 14, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    :D

    Reply
  59. Hamachisn't -  March 14, 2011 - 5:22 pm

    LOL is an acronym.

    Reply
  60. Shelia -  March 14, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    THIS ARTICLE IS COOL! :-0

    Reply
  61. Vacub -  March 14, 2011 - 4:51 pm

    @cyberquill: since it is the short for “laughing out loud”, LOL is an acronym, as OMG, for instance,

    Reply
  62. Zeroforce14 -  March 14, 2011 - 4:37 pm

    I would’ve suggested the use of emoticons first if I was born before that Scott Fahlman guy.

    Reply
  63. Kara -  March 14, 2011 - 4:18 pm

    I use them ALL the time to add emotion or to say hi. That is such useful information

    Reply
  64. Samantha -  March 14, 2011 - 4:15 pm

    Actually, “LOL” would be considered an abbreviation, eh?

    Reply
  65. Su A -  March 14, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    Lol is basically shorthand or abbreviation/acronym. I take exception to the “over 70″ comment, being 67myself, & I use emoticons all the time. So, there you go (Lol).

    Reply
  66. anonymous -  March 14, 2011 - 4:03 pm

    I thought that was really interesting. Thanks for sharing the info! ^^

    Reply
  67. Homo Sapien -  March 14, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    Whoa, imagine ancient civilations using emoticons in their writing.

    Reply
  68. Jumman Surender -  March 14, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    Hail Egyptians for their invention!!! I miss them too much and feels so “Insane” when I fail to understand the great “Hieroglyphs” , Alas :-(

    Reply
  69. Angelbabiraid♥ -  March 14, 2011 - 2:44 pm

    Uhhhhhh. -_- I made a lot of mistakes in the last comment. You know what I mean.

    Reply
  70. Granny Dee -  March 14, 2011 - 2:16 pm

    Hey! This old bird looooooooooves them. My daughter lives
    far away so we e-mail often. She sends me hers with the most
    delightful and often rude ones. Makes me laugh every time !
    Sorry. LOL

    Reply
  71. Chelsea-Brooke -  March 14, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    Wow. Thanks!

    Reply
  72. Cyberquill -  March 14, 2011 - 12:03 pm

    So then what is “LOL”? And acroglyph?

    Reply
  73. Михаил -  March 14, 2011 - 11:07 am

    How can you not like emoticons unless you are older than 70?

    Reply
  74. Harry -  March 14, 2011 - 11:04 am

    There all of them!

    Reply
  75. CJ -  March 14, 2011 - 10:19 am

    I’ve wondered about emoticons for a long time, thanks for filling in the blanks!

    Reply

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