January 26, 2006 at 4:55 PM by Dr. Drang
There’s a thread on Slashdot today about Cingular trying to patent emoticons (smileys ;). I have long been of the opinion that Mad Magazine invented emoticons. When I was in junior high back in the Nixon administration, I had a paperback book from Mad that was full of what they called “typetoons” (or something like that). These were cartoons made by typewriter characters, not necessarily strung along the same line, as with an emoticon, but more like simplistic ASCII art. Unfortunately, I have no idea what became of this book, what its title was, or who wrote it. So when I claim that I knew about emoticons before there was email, I get rolled eyes and a further reputation as a crank. Everyone has their niche, I guess.