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Miscellaneous Useful Programs and Curiosities
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51.12 You Don't Have Enough Smileys?

Unless you've been living in a cave with no Internet access, you've seen those "smiley faces" or "emoticons" in electronic mail ( 1.33 ) (and in this book!). In case you haven't seen electronic smileys, they're like those awful yellow smiley face buttons that were so common in the early 1970s, but with a new twist. The twist is literal: they're printed sideways, like this: :-)

(At first you have to turn your head sideways to see the face, but eventually you get used to reading them. Then you have trouble reading them only when you turn your head!) The standard smiley printed above is used to mean "don't take this too seriously." Then there's the frowning face used to indicate that something makes you sad: :-(

How about this one? 8-O

That translates as "Omigod!" (done after rm   -rf   * ).

Smileys range from the practical to the absurd. David Sanderson, whom the Wall Street Journal called "the Noah Webster of smileys," has collected hundreds of symbols from as many contributors, and put them all into a program called smiley .

Call smiley with no arguments, and it will give you a random smiley symbol, plus interpretation:



7:^]    Ronald Reagan

Type smiley with a smiley face as an argument, and you'll get possible interpretations (and an attribution for the explanation, if available). Because most smileys have bizarre characters that need to be protected from the shell, it's a good idea to quote ( 8.14 , 8.15 ) them:


smiley ';-)'

;-)     "If you touch my daughter again, they won't be blanks" [RICHH]
        beaten up
        could be pirate smiling face??
        crying with happiness
        getting fresh
        sardonic incredulity
        smiling face gets his lights punched out

Type smiley -l to see a list of all known smileys. Article 7.13 shows how to make the bash shell put a different smiley into every shell prompt. And if you still can't get enough smileys online, see the little book Smileys , by David W. Sanderson, from O'Reilly & Associates.

- TOR , JP

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