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Smileys: Beware, the bracket is closed!

February 25 2005

Smiley - the heritage of humanity. Most Internet users are accustomed to it so that not even think who invented it. In the smiley, just like the wheel, as if no author. His name is unknown, a feat he is immortal. Nothing of the sort: the smiley is the author - Harvey Bell, an American, a professional artist.

Perhaps, given his contributions to humanity someone worthy to one day create his museum. But before you get up an enthusiast not an easy task to find even though something from the works of Bell. He was an ordinary craftsman, working in advertising. That smiley was created in order.

The management of the insurance company «State Mutual Life Assurance Cos. of America »in December 1963, urgently needed to raise the" morale "of employees. At this time in the United States was an active process of mergers of large insurance companies. None of the rank and file employees was not sure that with this merger it will not appear on the street. Similar sentiments business is not very helpful, and the owners of the company decided to get employees to smile. For an internal "advertising" campaign was needed bright memorable character, who ordered the Harvey Bella.

Artist not too straining on the task. To come up with a yellow smiley face he had the 10 minutes. The fee was only $ 45.

Mr. Bell is nothing more than the smiley does not work. He did not think to register their right to their invented character. He did not want it, even when the smiley has gone to the masses.

Badges with the smilie really liked employee and customer has ordered its insurance company. But the real hit was the only character in the 70's, when some Spaniards invented the smiley slogan: "Have a Happy Day". It was then that smiley and began appearing on posters, postcards, t-shirts ... The U.S. Postal Service even issued a stamp with the image.

Bell lifted to such an extent that moved wisely. And let's give pretentious statement. For example, this: "Never before in human history and art was not a single work that would be so pervasive, brought so much happiness, joy and pleasure." By age artist and does has decided that his mission on earth - to be an international ambassador of happiness. The main accomplishment of his, as such, this proposal is celebrated on 1 October International Day of Smiles.

However, the smiles would have long since been forgotten if not for the Internet.

What is missing an e-mail, compared with the usual conversation? Gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice. Sense of humor buddy network can be developed is much worse for your - and an innocent humorous phrase could be perceived as a terrible insult. Here's the handy invention of the Bell, "converted" into a set of punctuation marks.

Emoticons many options, they represent almost all human emotions - confusion, sadness, anger, irony, etc. They quickly get used to it. The impossibility of their use is shaped break-up. Familiar journalist once gave me: "It is a pity that the logs can not be given to articles with smiles, without text so painful to write!"

In a society where the main commodity is information and where the time - than ever before - money, love for such phenomena is inevitable. As engraved wording, exclamation marks and capital letters. As symbols of a smile instead of the smile.

Private language purists have sounded the alarm. Like, any sense of it is quite possible to convey on paper, without resorting to icons - the language of the already rich.Active use of emoticons and abbreviations, the habit of short SMS-messages leads to the fact that young people and spoken start to use the simplest design, say psychologists.

And what exactly has changed? And until the advent of the internet the average person was not able to express themselves like the heroes of classic novels. Most people are actively using 500-600 words available in the language of hundreds of thousands. In this case the number of Internet has not changed anything. Who owns the language, who alone is able to ignite people - one in the web do without emoticons.

Victor Perelman


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