Fun Text-Based Expressions


1. What is an emoticon?

Most emoticons are text-based facial expressions that add a specific feeling or emotion to a message. For example, =) means happy, =( means sad, and =P means frustrated.

Emoticons can also be used to represent people or objects using only text characters. For example, |_P could be a cup of coffee, while (_8^(1) might be used to represent Homer Simpson.

For a detailed explanation of emoticons, view the definition of an emoticon.

2. When should I use emoticons?

Emoticons can be used in several areas:

  • Online chat sessions (such as Instant Messenger)
  • Web forums (bulletin boards)
  • Social networking websites
  • Email messages
  • Text messages

Because it is often difficult to express your exact feelings when typing a message to another person, emoticons help convey your intent. For example, if you type something sarcastically, there is a risk that the person receiving the message may take it seriously. To show that you are being sarcastic, you might add a ;-) (winking) emoticon to assure the person you are not being serious.

3. When should I not use emoticons?

While emoticons can be useful when typing messages to friends, they are best left out of formal communication, such as business memos, proposals, résumés, etc. since they give the message an informal quality. Using emoticons in formal messages may cause the recipient(s) to not take your message seriously.

4. What emoticons should I use?

You can include any emoticons that you feel add to the message you are typing. Some people even make up their own. However, when you use original or uncommon emoticons, you run the risk of the other person not understanding the emoticon and therefore adding more confusion to the message. For this reason, it is typically best to stick to commonly used emoticons.

5. Why do some emoticons not work in my IM program?

Most instant messaging (IM) programs such as AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, and Windows Live (MSN) Messenger will turn common emoticons into actual smiley faces. These are also known as "emoticon shortcuts" The emoticons included in the PC.net Emoticons list range from very common to rather uncommon. Therefore, some will be recognized by your instant messaging program, while others will not.

The following pages list emoticon shortcuts supported by popular instant messaging programs, as well as the Gmail interface.

6. How can I submit an emoticon to PC.net?

It's simple. Just send your suggestion to PC.net using the online contact form.

Emoticons Home