THE computer smiley symbol :-) celebrates its 25th birthday today.
The sideways face used in millions of emails was invented by an IT expert in Pittsburgh, US.
Prof Scott Fahlman was the first to use a colon followed by a hyphen and a close bracket to form a smiley in a computer message.
It has since spawned dozens of similar characters, including the wink ;-) sad face :-( yawn :-O and surprise 8-O.
Prof Fahlman said he prefers :-) to the modern computer graphic of a smiling face, adding: It destroys the whimsical element of the original.
Only in America would a person become an IT expert by making a smiley face.
It was originally a sad face until he switched his pc off then back on again :giggle: