The word is a portmanteau word of the English words "emotion" and "icon".

In web forums, instant messengers and online games, text emoticons are often automatically replaced with small corresponding images, which came to be called "emoticons" as well.

In 1997, The Smiley Company filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

all the cartoonists that ever walked." In 1912, Ambrose Bierce proposed "an improvement in punctuation – the snigger point, or note of cachinnation: it is written thus ‿ and presents a smiling mouth.

It is to be appended, with the full stop, to every jocular or ironical sentence".

Still, for those of us who long to return to the days of the classic AIM chat rooms, it looks like you might only have 27 days to say goodbye to that FLybo Y2000 account.

is a pictorial representation of a facial expression using punctuation marks, numbers and letters, usually written to express a person's feelings or mood.

If you wish to use the free consumer AIM product, we invite you to visit for more information.

The number of people using AIM has been in a steady state of decline as folks move across to rival platforms from other companies.

Emoticons for a smiley face appear in the first documented use in digital form.

Certain complex character combinations can only be accomplished in double-byte languages, giving rise to especially complex forms, sometimes known by their romanized Japanese name of kaomoji.

They added that AIM users currently number in "the single-digit millions."While the AIM of old still holds a lot of nostalgia for internet users of er, , this doesn't mean that IM lovers will be left without an alternative.

Despite its dwindling userbase, you can still download AOL's latest chat app on i OS, mac OS, Windows and Android.

In Western countries, emoticons are usually written at a right angle to the direction of the text.