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Earliest Emoticons? These Contenders Will Make You :-) (PHOTO)

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We at HuffPost Good News can appreciate a well-executed emoticon.

Last week the QI Elves, who gather interesting facts for the BBC, tweeted a photo of what might be the earliest emoticons -- created in a time before computers.

As the New York Times notes, it's unclear when the first emoticon actually appeared:

A historical newspaper specialist at the digital archival company Proquest believes he has found an example of a sideways winking smiley face embedded in The New York Times transcript of an 1862 speech given by President Lincoln. Other historians are not so sure, saying the semicolon alongside a closed parenthesis is either a mistake or a misinterpretation of something that is perfectly grammatical for that era.

If you're interested, you can check out the full article on the debate here.

What's your favorite smiley face?

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