Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

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Smiley

Using ascii characters to represent a face or emotion.  Smileys
are ususlly used in [[email]] messages or in [[chat]].

Some basic examples:

  :)      is a smile
  :(      is a frown
  :P      has a lolling tongue
  ;)      is wiking
  B)      has sunglasses
  :-)     has a nose

...there are a lot of possibilities, people are very good at interpreting pictures as faces.  See [[Ascii Art]], maybe [[Electronic communications]], [[Emote]], or [[Emoticon]].