Expressing Emotion

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Emoticons, or "emotion icons," were created to help people express their state of mind in e- mails. On occasion, the tone of an e-mail can be misunderstood because the receiver cannot see the sender's facial expressions. Without such visual cues, a humorous statement can be misconstrued as a serious or sarcastic comment. The smiley face :) and the frowning face :( and the winking face;) are the most popular emoticons. However, e-mail senders continue to devise other creative ways to express emotions, including =8-o for "fright" and :-$ for "put your money where your mouth is" and :*) for being "drunk."