Another example of Pareidolia in Semiotics is Emoticons. It has been observed over time that text messages often do not convey appropriate tone and emotion – and in fact can make the ‘speaker’ seem cold and robotic. A relatively modern way to remedy this was developed by Scott Faltman in 1982 – the use of parenthesis symbols to form a face when read sideways. He originally introduced 🙂 (happy) and 😦 (sad), however since then, many different Emoticons (combination of ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’) have evolved.

More typical, western emoticons are similar to Scott Faltman’s basic idea; they are read sideways and consist mainly of parenthesis symbols and letters, e.g.

😀   B-)   😥   😉   :-S

Emoticons used in places such as Japan are slightly different. More recently, the west has adopted the style of their emoticons that do not need to be read sideways, but can be written with standard ASCII characters found on western keyboards. For instance;

\(^.^)/   (O_o)   (?_?)   (-_-‘)