The smiley emoticon has just turned the grand old age of 25.
It was invented by US university Professor Scott E. Fahlman who suggested combining the colon, hyphen and parenthesis to combat the limits of online communication and convey humour. It quickly spread and is now used by people all over the world, to express tone and emotions in email and text messages that may otherwise be misinterpreted.
Since its birth the sign has spawned many different variations including :-( (sad), :-D (laughing) and ;-) (winking), all of which help to relay the meaning of certain messages.
Blow out those candles smiley! :-^