MSN Emoticons are small icons that you can use to quickly express emotions during the course of conversation on Windows Messenger. An emoticon conventionally consists of an expressive, cartoon-like face depicting emotions, for example a yellow smiley happy face. The range of depictable emotions is broad, with most positive, happy emotions using a yellow character, with the exception of the angriest emoticon, which is appropriately bright red. It is possible to convey feelings and actions ranging from happiness, anger, embarrassment and upset through to illness, thought and sarcasm.
As well as being cute, entertaining little icons, emoticons have become an important part of online chat and other types of Internet communication. Whilst the written word is informative, it is often all too easy to misinterpret the meaning of a sentence. This can have unfortunate consequences if, for example, a joke is taken as a sincere comment. By using an emoticon it is possible to convey much more clearly the true meaning of a comment and the tone of its delivery.
In addition to the emotional characters, there are a number of object icons that are included under the definition of an emoticon. These range from a birthday cake complete with candles to a steaming cup of coffee. It’s thus possible to offer your conversation partner a cup of virtual coffee, or to add significance to the wishing of a happy birthday.
In addition those supplied as standard with Messenger, there are a number of additional emoticons which can be downloaded from other websites, which are usually free.
How to Use MSN Emoticons
Each emoticon within MSN Messenger has a tag, which automatically generates a particular emoticon. The simplest example is a smiley face, composed of a colon and a right-hand bracket. Therefore typing ‘?’ will automatically give the smiley-faced emoticon. Using the opposite bracket will produce a sad face. Many other emoticons also have tags that resemble them, and it’s possible to remember the majority of basic emotion tags relatively quickly. For those that are less easy to remember, there is a drop down menu available in the chat window, where you can select the emoticon directly by clicking with the mouse.
Most emoticon tags are composed of either two or three characters, which makes them both quick to write and relatively easy to remember. The emoticon will appear as you type in the lower box, so you can be sure that you are sending the correct symbol before you actually send your message.
To place an emoticon in a sentence, simply type in the relevant tag at whichever point you wish the emoticon to appear. There’s even no need to worry about spacing between words and emoticons as the MSN Messenger programme automatically detects the tag. There is no limit on the number of emoticons which can be used at any one time, and indeed a message can be made up entirely of emoticons.
Using emoticons becomes natural with practice, and it shouldn’t take a new user too long to adjust and to memorise a useful, core range of emoticons.
Popular MSN Emoticons
To send the following emoticon:
|Standard Smile||🙂 or 🙂|
|Open-mouthed Smile||😀 or :d|
|Surprised||:-O or 😮|
|Sticking tongue out||😛 or :p|
|Wink||😉 or 😉|
|Sad||🙁 or 🙁|
|Confused||:-S or :s|
|Disappointed||😐 or 😐|
|Embarrassed||:-$ or :$|
|Hot||(H) or (h)|
|Angry||:-@ or :@|
|Angel||(A) or (a)|
|Don’t tell anyone (sshhh…)||:-#|
|Secret telling (zipping mouth shut)||:-*|
|I don’t know||:^)|
|Coffee cup||(C) or (c)|
|Thumbs up||(Y) or (y)|
|Thumbs down||(N) or (n)|
|Beer mug||(B) or (b)|
|Martini glass||(D) or (d)|
|Girl||(X) or (x)|
|Boy||(Z) or (z)|
|Vampire bat||:-[ or :[|
|Red heart||(L) or (l)|
|Broken heart||(U) or (u)|
|Red lips||(K) or (k)|
|Gift with a bow||(G) or (g)|
|Red rose||(F) or (f)|
|Wilted rose||(W) or (w)|
|Camera||(P) or (p)|
|Telephone receiver||(T) or (t)|
|Light bulb||(I) or (i)|
|(E) or (e)|
|Clock||(O) or (o)|
|MSN Messenger icon||(M) or (m)|
|Island and palm tree||(ip)|
Where To Find More MSN Emoticons
MSN Live Messenger has plenty of emoticons already programmed into it, so it is by no means necessary to add any “accessory” emoticons in order to take advantage of the MSN emoticon system. The current range should be perfectly adequate for conducting an average conversation.
There is a wide range of additional MSN-supported emoticons on a variety of websites, most downloadable for free. These are often much larger, more animated, and more colourful variations of those already included in the Messenger program, although there are a number of new examples as well.
If you are a beginner, it is probably not recommended that you download these “accessory” emoticons to begin with as it can add to the confusion of trying to remember the tag for each standard emoticon.
There is a drop down menu in each conversation window, which lists up to sixty key emoticons for quick reference. Should you wish to make additions to or remove items from this listing, you can do so, leaving you with a customised menu that best suits you. This is a useful option as it means you can begin to remove the more basic items, such as smileys as you begin to memorise them, and to replace them with other more advanced items as you progress.
It is worth pointing out that it is possible to get individual custom emoticons from your conversation partner. If you see an emoticon you like and which you don’t have, you can acquire it by right clicking on it and selecting the Add or Get This Emoticon option. By following a couple of simple steps and clicking OK, you will have for yourself the cloned emoticon.