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

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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 winking
  B-) or 8-)      has sunglasses
  :-o             surprise

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