Smileys/ emoticons are faces made from the basic keyboard (ASCII) characters.
Smileys (also called emoticons) are used in email, chat and other Net communication. They allow the writer to show humour, sarcasm, etc. This is useful in the typewritten medium of the Internet where communication can be misunderstood. Smileys are faces made from the basic keyboard (ASCII) characters. To 'read' them look at them sideways. :-)