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Smilies in 1881: Who knew?

More yummy goodness today from Ronni Bennett’s Time Goes By. I couldn’t pass this up — emoticons from an 1881 issue of Puck magazine. I should have known typographers were far too clever not to have employed them long before the digital age.

Ronni found this gem over at Retronaut, another place you’ll want to visit. For anyone familiar with Memory Lane, this place is a trip!


  1. PS – Which reminds me of some who habitually capitalize many words in their writing. Unlike the sparring use of emoticons, which I think adds needed nuance, numerous capitalization comes across to me as shouting and has the same effect. It is significant, I think, that those who practice this also often neglect their spell checker. I CAN HARDLY STAND IT! 😆

    • It’s hard to imagine anyone on the Internet doesn’t know by now that all caps ARE SHOUTING and no one appreciates it. I can only assume those who insist on the convention are seeking attention, no matter how negative it might be.

      And yes, I think emoticons are a wonderful way to add nuance, clarification, or to make certain a remark isn’t misinterpreted.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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