How to Write Emotions & Abbreviations for Texting

Updated April 17, 2017

Emoticons (also known as "smileys" or "text icons") are symbols that you can create when texting a friend. These symbols provide a quick method of communication, as you can glance at the emoticon and discover how the person who texted you is feeling. For example, the classic "smiley" resembles a smiling face if you tilt your head to the left. :-).

Emoticons help keep conversations short and simple, which is perfect for texting. You'll also help the receiver understand exactly what you're trying to say. By using the emoticon "code" of texting, you'll save time, and your typing thumbs will thank you for the rest.

Make a simple emoticon using only a few keys. There are four basic emoticons: a smiley face, a frowny face, a winking face and a laughing face. To make a smiley face, press the colon key [shift+:], the dash key [-] and the right-hand parenthesis key [ ) ]. The result looks like this: :-).

To make a frowny face, type a colon, a dash, and the left-hand parenthesis [ ( ]. :-( is the result.

A winking face indicates a joke or a saucy remark. It looks like this: ;-). To make this emoticon, use the semicolon key, the dash and the right-hand parenthesis.

To make a laughing face ( :-D), press the colon key, the dash and a capital D.

Use any of these emoticons to express your feelings. Be prepared to explain yourself if your texting buddy isn't familiar with the emoticons you're using.

Try the "blowing a raspberry" emoticon, which looks like this: :-P. Create this symbol by typing a colon, a dash and a capital P.

If you're feeling confused, type a small o, a period, and a zero. o.0 gets your point across.

If you're focused on money, type shift+4, an underscore, and another shift+4 to get $_$.

There are thousands of other symbols you can use to create an emoticon army. Creativity counts, as does a little ingenuity.

Create emoticons that stand in for an object. Play around with different keyboard letters and symbols.

For example, if you're texting your boyfriend or girlfriend, send a rose. A rose is created by typing an @ sign (shift+2), a dash, a right-hand bracket (shift+]) and another three dashes. The result looks like this: @-}---.

If you're on a bus or a plane and a baby is crying right next to you, send a distress signal by typing a tilde [ ~ ], a colon, and an o. You'll end up with a crying baby: ~:o.

If you need to say you stepped out for a cigarette, simply type a colon, a dash and a capital Q. :-Q.

Now that you know how to create some basic emoticons, why not invent some of your own?

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About the Author

Alexis Muirhead has been writing professionally since 2008, and her work has appeared in various online publications. She has taught college courses in essay writing and other language studies for several years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern British Columbia and a Masters of Arts from McMaster University, specializing in English and cultural studies.