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Emoticons are a fun and simple way to communicate emotion or add tone to your text. There are two major “styles” of emoticons: Western and Eastern. These two styles make up the vast majority of emoticons you see online. There is also “emoji”, which is a set of picture characters that act like emoticons. These don’t have universal support, but they can be much more attractive than old-school emoticons.
- Understand how “Western” emoticons are typed.
“Western” emoticons rose from early chat services such as IRC and AOL, primarily in North American and European countries. They are typically written horizontally from left to right; the top of the “head” is almost always on the left side.Western emoticons tend to focus more on the “whole face”, and tend to have more literal translations that “Eastern” emoticons.
Western emoticons typically just use Latin letters and are often distinguishable by single characters.
- Use : for the eyes (in most cases).
Most Western emoticons rely on : to be the “eyes”, though other characters can be substituted depending on the circumstances.