Why You Should Stop Worrying And Start Using Emoticons
A punctuation purist would claim that emoticons are debased ways to signal tone and voice, something a good writer should be able to indicate with words. But the contrary is true: The history of punctuation is precisely the history of using symbols to denote tone and voice. Seen in this way, emoticons are simply the latest comma or quotation mark. And despite the oft-repeated story that Carnegie Mellon professor Scott Fahlman invented the smiley and the frown face in 1982, the history of emoticons goes back much further.
My Mom was using smiley and frown faces on handwritten notes to me back in the 70’s. She was, at that time, an executive type in what is would later become known to many as Verizon—obviously, she pioneered the emoticon.