This recent discovery may be the first emoticon ever — at least from the ones we've found so far.

This "emoticon," if it is one, predates the last earliest one by more than 300 years [the earliest emoticon so far is :-) from 1982]. It was discovered by Levi Stahl, and editor at the University of Chicago Press. While reading some poems from Robert Herrick, she came across, "To Fortune," which had a familiar looking face in the second line:

While it could be simply a colon inside the parentheses, Stahl says that the words "smiling yet" and the would-be smiling emoticon could be Herrick's attempt at being a little clever.

What do you think? :) or :/ ?

[via The Atlantic]