TECH
09/23/2014 12:22 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2014

Emoticons May Be A Lot Older Than You Think They Are

Whether it's a smiley or a winky face, you know emoticons, you love emoticons, and they've become an integral part of our modern vernacular.

However, thanks to this short from Mashable, we learn that people have been altering the tone of their written text with strategically placed punctuation for centuries.

In fact, the video explains, the first alleged use of an emoticon dates back to 1648, in a printed poem by Robert Herrick. But it could have been a mistake -- and without a frowny face, who can know? The first documented and definitely intentional use of emoticons occurred in an 1881 issue of Puck Magazine, when an article illustrated how to use "typographical art" to depict certain emotions.

The rest, as they say, was history. Watch above to see how emoticons infiltrated the printed page and then the Internet -- and eventually the dictionary, and ultimately, our very lives.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
11 Unexplainable Emojis
CONVERSATIONS