On September 20, 1982, long before emojis and AOL Instant Messenger, Carnegie Melon professor Scott Fahlman wrote the following on an online message board with fellow computer science geeks:

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:

:-)

Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use

:-(

And just like that, the course of human communication was altered forever. Here's to you, Scott Fahlman. Smile on.

[via CNET]