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    History of the Emoticon - a New Lady Luck® Mascot

    The emoticon has become universal in today’s society, representing a range of emotions in a clear and clever way. A smiley face emoticon is an instantly recognizable image that conveys both fun and excitement. It’s the perfect new mascot for Lady Luck® Casino, whose new motto is “Play More. Be Happy.” The motto and emoticon mascot are both fun reminders of all the different ways that people can incorporate play into their lives.

    The emoticon has quite an interesting history. The word is a blend of the words emotion and icon. Emoticons represent a facial expression or feeling. When communicating through today’s popular technologies, there is an absence of voice and body language. Without these emoticons, it can be difficult to distinguish the tone of a sender’s message. It’s easy to miss the nuances of a conversation when it takes place through email or text messages, where sarcasm can be lost and emotion can be unclear. With emoticons, senders are able to improve the interpretation of their messages by sending visual representations of their feelings.

    Although many people think that the rise of the emoticon paralleled the rise of the World Wide Web, the emoticon’s inception actually goes back much earlier than this. Some people believe that the emoticon first appeared in a transcript of Abraham Lincoln’s speech from 1862. In the speech, an audience reaction is written out as, “applause and laughter ;).” However, it is impossible to know whether this was a true emoticon or just a simple typo.

    Other more substantial instances of the emoticon go back as far as 1936. It was then that a Harvard National Lampoon article declared that different symbols should be used to denote a smile, a frown, a wink and intense interest or incredulity. In 1962, Mad Magazine published the article, “Typewri-toons,” which featured artwork generated by a typewriter which expressed emotions. However, it wasn’t until 1963 that today’s most well-known emoticon was created.

    That year, freelance artist Harvey Bell created what is known today as the “smiley face.” This image consists of a yellow button face with two black dots for eyes and an upturned curve for a mouth. It was originally created for an insurance company’s campaign with the aim of bolstering employee morale. In the early 1980’s, this image was translated into typeface smiley emoticons which featured colons for eyes, dashes for noses, and parentheses for smiles or frowns. When read sideways, the images represent a smiling face or a frowning face, helping readers to deduce the feelings behind the written text. The smiley face emoticon was able to signify a light and sarcastic meaning to text messages that might otherwise be considered offensive or negative. This basic smiley face graphic has grown to include other widely-recognized features, such as a semi-colon which represents a wink and a capital P which represents a stuck-out tongue.

    The smiley face is a vibrant reminder to be happy. This message is now more important than ever, thanks to everyone’s hectic schedules that create boring routines revolving around a mentality of all work and no play. At Lady Luck, there are amazing restaurants, gaming, lodging and entertainment options that can add a spark of excitement back into life. Lady Luck’s motto, “Play More. Be Happy.” reminds guests that life is an adventure and the fun has just begun. Its new emoticon mascot is a tangible display of the play principle. It welcomes guests to a place where the food is delectable, the entertainment is exciting, and the smiles are plentiful.


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