The World’s First Emoticon… Probably

To some, emoticons may seem like a relatively modern part of what is near already considered our everyday lives, surrounded by digitised methods of communication and entertainment. Take a look at the above excerpt from Robert Herrick’s 1648 poem To Fortune – you might be surprised.

Literary critics including Levi Stahl suggest that the colon-close-bracket smiley face could be nothing more than an error in his own copy of the book Hesperides despite it immediately following the word ‘smiling’. After checking a two-volume edition of Herrick’s work recently republished by Oxford University Press, he found the print unchanged.

Since, Stahl has surmised that a deliberate 1600s emoticon is entirely possible, noting Herrick’s poetry as usually humorous and cleverly written.

A journal on technology and society – The New Atlantis – indicated that the parenthesis doesn’t exist in another early copy of the poem, making the find much more likely to have been “inserted by a modern editor. ”

Other claimants to the sparkly First Emoticon Ever title outdate this current find by around 200 years, presuming it wasn’t a typo. Today, so many emoticons, memes and other fads take over the internet with such ferocity and speed that it’s sometimes a little hard to keep up.

Previous articleKing Oddball PS4 Review
Next articleTrials Fusion Is Availble Now, Launch Trailer Inside.
Wrestling fanatic and zombie slayer extraordinare. Spends much of her time working towards her Illustration degree and relating everyday happenings back to Assassin's Creed missions. Will positively respond to face-pulling and sugar.

Join the Conversation

Notify of