Using Internet "Shorthand"

How You Can Be Just As Original As Everybody Else

As a new person or "newbie" on the Internet, you'll probably be struck by the fact that a lot of the messages contain odd-looking words and punctuation. This is a kind of "shorthand" that Internet users have developed so they can express certain thoughts and emotions without wasting valuable time typing them out.

Emoticons are a very clever use of standard punctuation marks to express a human emotion. Here's how they work.

Suppose you're typing a statement such as:

I am feeling happy

The problem with this is, the reader cannot be absolutely, 100 percent sure what emotion you're feeling when you type this. So at the end of the sentence, you type a colon (:) followed by a closing parentheses ()). Now your sentence looks like this:

I am feeling happy :)

See the difference?

Visit the Emoticon Gallery and make your own emoticon! :-)

Happy person
Sad person
Happy person with a nose
Sad person with a nose
Person who is sad because he or she has a large nose
Person who is sad because he or she has a large fish for a nose
Person laughing
Person laughing so hard that he or she does not notice that a 5-legged spider is hanging from his or her lip
Person unsure of which long-distance company to choose
Person just realizing that he or she has a tapeworm
Person winking
Person who can still smile despite losing an eyeball
Person vomiting a series of Slim Jims
Person who just had cybersex and is now enjoying a post-coital cybercigarette
>:-Q -...
Person who was enjoying a post-coital cigarette until he suddenly noticed, to his alarm, that there is some kind of discharge dribbling from his cybermember
Person who is unhappy with the results of her breast-enlargement surgery
Person who cannot figure out why nobody wants to talk to him or her, little suspecting that there is an alligator on his or her head
Fisherperson heading for market with a basket on his or her head containing a three-legged octopus that is giving off smell rays
>:-[ -{9
Person who is none too pleased to be giving birth to a squirrel

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