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How to make a wink symbol in an email

A wink symbol, also called an emoticon, adds a playful sign-off to an email. There are two types to choose from: the standard version that looks like a face on its side, or the Japanese version that looks straight at you. Emoticons and smiley symbols were once the exclusive property of web geeks and coders in the dark underbelly of the internet, but they've come a long way since Professor Scott Fahlman emailed his first ironic smiley face symbol in 1982. There is evidence to suggest that emoticons were around as far back as 1979 but Fahlman is largely credited as being the founder of modern-day emoticons.

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  1. Open your email program and compose a new message.

  2. Click at the point where you want to insert a wink symbol.

  3. Type a semi colon, followed by a close parenthesis, which is "Shift" and "0" to display ;) .

  4. Add a nose to the wink symbol with a hyphen between the semi-colon and close parenthesis so your emoticon looks like this: ;-) .

  5. Try the Japanese version of the wink emoticon; click the hyphen, followed by an underscore and then the caret, which is the "Shift" and "6" key to produce an alternative wink symbol that is commonly used among manga, anime and gaming fans: -_^ .

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About the Author

Alex Burgess

Alex Burgess has been a professional writer since 1990, specializing in travel, herpetology, lifestyle, fashion, health and fitness. Her work has appeared in various British newspapers, magazines and international online publications. Burgess studied design before working as a journalist in England.

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