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How to Make a Confused Face on the Keyboard

Updated April 07, 2017

Text "emoticons" use keyboard symbols to make pictographs that indicate moods and this thoroughly modern idea may be older than you think. In 1887, shortly after the invention of the typewriter, the American cynic Ambrose Bierce suggested new forms of punctuation including a "single bracket...to be appended, with the full stop, to every jocular or ironical sentence." The novelist Vladimar Nabokov suggested a similar idea in an interview with the New York Times in 1969. Currently, a computer sciences professor at Carnegie Mellon University named Scott Fahlman believes he invented the smiley face emoticon in 1982.

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  1. Type upper case O, period, lower case o (O.o) is the most popular way to indicate that you are confused on a smart phone. All lower case Os (o.o) indicates a blank stare. All upper case (O.O) means shock.

  2. Type star, underdash, star (___) to indicate that you are dazed followed by an alternative version of confused which comprises a colon followed by a dash followed by an upper case S (:-S) when you are dazed and confused.

  3. Type symbols to indicate that you are perplexed, a sibling emotion to confusion, by keying in colon, dash, slash (:-/). And, if you have reached a judgemental age and have grown sentimental for brick phones you can frown your disapproval of emoticons in general by typing colon, dash, left parenthesis (:-().

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About the Author

Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.

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