2.4 Smileys
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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    When you're involved in an online discussion, you can't see the
smiles or shrugs that the other person might make in a live
conversation to show he's only kidding.  But online, there's no body
language. So what you might think is funny, somebody else might take as
an insult.  To try to keep such misunderstandings from erupting into
bitter disputes, we have smileys.  Tilt your head to the left and look at
the following sideways. :-).  Or simply :).  This is your basic "smiley."
Use it to indicate people should not take that comment you just made as
seriously as they might otherwise.  You make a smiley by typing a colon,
a hyphen and a right parenthetical bracket. Some people prefer using the
word "grin," usually in this form:
Sometimes, though, you'll see it as *grin* or even just <g> for short.
Some other smileys include:
          ;-)      Wink;
          :-(      Frown;
          :-O      Surprise;
          8-)      Wearing glasses;
          =|:-)=   Abe Lincoln.
         OK, so maybe the last two are a little bogus :-).