Linguist Naomi Baron is here to lead smiley to the gallows. She predicts that abbreviations will replace emoticons and that electronic communication will grow increasingly cryptic as groups develop their own secret codes.
Almost 20 years ago, Scott Fahlman decided that people using computer-based communications needed a way to express emotions. His solution? The now ubiquitous emoticon. Here's why the man who brought the smiley face to the Net is still smiling.