Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University is the man who created the famous :-) text smiley face that expresses a happy mood and has always been a part of our emails and chat messages.

yahoo smileys

Yahoo! recently conducted a survey related to the use of Emoticons in IM conversations. Some interesting picks [For full reports available as PDF file, email me for a copy]

· It’s a Girl Thing: 82% of respondents think that women are more likely to use emoticons than men.

· Happiness is most often using emoticon followed by Flirting.

· Most people think that feelings of love are easier to convey using emoticons than in person – 57% of respondents would rather tell a "crush" their true feelings using an emoticon. 10% of respondents would go as far as proposing marriage to their loved one via IM.

· The majority of survey respondents say they best express themselves in IM using emoticons. Nearly two-thirds (61%) rely on emoticons to best express their feelings, while 17% rely on Internet slang (i.e. LOL, GR8) and 13% rely on photo sharing.

In related news, Yahoo is inviting everyone to submit pictures of their favorite face expressions - it could be converted into a smiley and become a part of the Yahoo! Messenger. The contest is running in the U.S., India and Vietnam until July 31, 2007. Enter here.