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Emoticons (sometimes referred to as "emots"), many of which are known as smileys, are small images used as a visualisation aid within conversations in which the intended message cannot necessarily be adequately conveyed by words alone.
Emoticons can be text or image based, and many modern variations are animated. A text based emoticon is usually formed by stringing together characters to form various interpretations of eyes, nose and mouth, often with other appendages to demonstrate the intent or tone of the accompanying message. There are potentially thousands of variants of the common smiley, and many individuals, as well as wider communities, have adopted or created specific ones to act as a form of logo or signature.
- OMG I am going to Olive Garden with Chad tonight :D
- My dog died today ;_;
- I am grounded for a week >:(
- KONICHIWA ^_^
A black person example of the xD smiley.
from Jesuitx's LJ