19-Sep-82 11:44 Scott E Fahlman :-) From: Scott E FahlmanIt appears that the idea for a "joke mark" emerged after someone caused a panic by joking that one of the physics department elevators was contaminated with mercury. (There had been a previous discussion about what would happen to a blob of mercury on the floor of the elevator if the cable snapped.)
I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways. Actually, it is probably more economical to mark things that are NOT jokes, given current trends. For this, use :-(
Interestingly, in reading the followup thread, many people began using doing it the other way (-:, which doesn't look very familiar to us now.