Saturday, February 18, 2012

Scott who?

This is not Santa Claus in his younger days.

It is not Peter Ustinov or Burl Ives or any other youngster aspiring to success in show biz.

This is Scott Fahlman.

Scott Fahlman.

Scott Fahlman is the person who may or may not have been the first to suggest the use of :-) as a smiley-face emoticon and :-( as a frowny-face emoticon in September 1982, as careful readers of this blog learned from a link in a comment left by Katherine on an earlier post.

When I was a lad, we didn’t have emoticons.

When I was a lad, we had slinkies and 45-rpm records and Brownie Hawkeye cameras.

When I was a lad, well, see for yourself (2:42).

One thing is sure, if one becomes the ruler of the Queen’s navy, one can not also be the very model of a modern major-general (5:00).

There is method in my madness: My purpose in including the links to Gilbert and Sullivan in today’s post was to change any and all artificial emoticons among the members of today’s audience into real smiles.

Now aren’t you glad you dropped by?

And I made you forget all about Scott Fahlman.


  1. :-) :-) :-D
    Who couldn't smile at the wonderful G&S!?

  2. 'A spring, a spring, a marvellous's fun for a girl or a boy.'

    'Cept my slinky got bent and refused to slink anymore, taking upon itself more of a lopsided droop...then it was no fun at all for anyone of whatever gender!

    A Brownie Hawkeye - wow! Bakelite with a meniscus lens? You were one lucky boy.

    Who cares who Scott Fahlman was when there are so many other things to smile about on your post today, Bob? I shall leave grinning broadly.

    :-D xx

  3. You missed out on 78 records, which made me mildly curious about when they hit the skids. This is from Wikipedia:
    "After World War II, two new competing formats came on to the market and gradually replaced the standard "78": the 33⅓ rpm (often just referred to as the 33 rpm), and the 45 rpm. The 33⅓ rpm LP (for "long play") format was developed by Columbia Records and marketed in 1948. RCA Victor developed the 45 rpm format and marketed it in 1949, in response to Columbia."

  4. All, somehow I missed replying to your comments on this post. Do you think I might be slipping? (Don't answer that)

    Kath., weren't they, though? Wonderful, I mean.

    Eliz., I lived in a one-story house and so had no stairs on which to display my slinky skills. I always had to set up a table in front of the dresser, then a chair, then a footstool. Taxed my creative powers, it did.

    Snow., I didn't miss out on 78 rpm records, I just didn't refer to them in the post. But when the 45s came along, nobody seemed to want 78s any more. I remember two 78s in particular, John Charles Thomas singing "The Lord's Prayer" and Gene Autry singing "The Mockingbird A-Singin' in the Lilac Bush" (at least, I think it was Gene Autry).

  5. Oh, I too remember 78s and even played them occasionally, but they were clearly from an ancient era.