Everything Is Older Than You Think It is, Emoticon Dept

From the September 16, 1936 Harvard Lampoon, “Sentiment Simplified,” by Alan Gregg.

Why not, instead of more or less ignoring punctuation as heretofore, make it of some real importance; make it the skeleton of a new and more fluent language?

For instance:

Let * be a new punctuation mark meaning a wink and % for the first time betoken head on one side, one eye over the other, an expression of intense interest, attention, and incredulity and ( - ) be a smile and ( — ) be a laugh … more teeth showing and # a frown.


Dear Gwendolynne,

You are probably working so hard for exams that you wont [sic] be able to get away for the Yale game. ( * ) Has anyone else asked you? ( # ) I hope you can come ( - )

Yours (% —)

Of the ultimate success of this new era in self-expression we have no doubt.