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    The History of Emoticons

    Emoticons are a lot of fun and a great way for people to express their moods and emotions when they're communicating by email or text. Although there is some evidence that Abraham Lincoln used the first written emoticon in one of his speeches way back in 1862, it could have just been the equivalent of a typo. The first typographical emoticons were published in a satirical magazine called Puck in 1912, and expressed joy, melancholy, indifference and astonishment.

    In 1912, Ambrose Bierce, another satirist and a truly hilarious guy, suggested that instead of a period, the shape of a smiling mouth, which he called a "snigger point," be used to end a sentence that was meant to be funny. Then, in a 1936 Harvard Lampoon article, Allen Gregg suggested the use of a kind of code to signify certain emotions. The first emoticon to really catch on was the yellow smiley face created by Harvey Ball in 1963 to boost morale at an insurance company.

    In September, 1982, after a series of misunderstandings and arguments at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, Professor Scott Fahlman also wanted a way to let people know that he was just kidding. That's when he invented the first modern emoticon, a smiley face, for use in computer communication. The world owes Mr. Fahlman a lot for his contribution to making the world a happier and more humorous place.

    According to a study published in "Social Neuroscience", a scientific journal, our brains have the same reactions to emoticons as they do to real faces. Today, there are emoticons that can express almost anything. Some are animated and can even sing and dance. We can tell a lot about ourselves and each other by the emoticons we choose. For example, if we find that we are using a lot of emoticons that express frustration, boredom or unhappiness, maybe it's been too long since we've gotten away and had some fun.

    So why all this emoticon talk? Have you heard our new motto here at Isle® Casino Hotel? “Play More. Be Happy” is our way of saying, take some time out of your busy lives to play every once and a while!

    Everyone needs to get away sometimes to relax, enjoy life and re-establish a sense of wonder and excitement. Not only that, but hard work should have its rewards. One reward that a lot of people enjoy — and you might, too — is soaking in a hot tub before drifting off to sleep in a bed that you won't have to make in the morning. Instead of making the bed, going for a refreshing swim before a buffet breakfast made with the freshest local ingredients that you don't have to shop for or cook might also be enjoyable. After that, you might want to raise your excitement level with some games of chance or dancing to some live music, or both. Before you start thinking it couldn't get better than that, imagine that indulging in these things was also rewarded by making you eligible to win prizes.

    At Isle® Casino Hotel Waterloo, our motto is "Play More, Be Happy” and the mascot — you guessed it — the emoticon! Maybe you'll number among the jackpot winners we've paid out over $336,434.99 to since March 1. Even if you're just a winner at the game of life after experiencing a relaxing getaway with good food, entertainment and fun, stop by and Play More. Be Happy! 

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