(an attempt to divide functionality and rationality)
As it has been already mentioned above, smiley, an extra internet phenomenon, was well known many years ago. But smileys just as sects were often hidden from interested looks of contemporaries. How can we otherwise explain that Voltaire not only didn't use smileys, but also was categorically against them, while Diderot wrote about smileys in the first edition of his "Encyclopedia". Now after 2,5 centuries we can hardly judge the reasons and we can only guess, that these two outstanding people argued not only because of this subject.
In general, the role of smileys in the human society development history was neither enough researched (many people incorrectly treat smiley as an appendix of the written language) nor enough discussed. Searching for an illustration You don’t have to rake in old archives smelling of mouse droppings – it will be enough to think about our century and take the commemorable Red Guard and ask the soviet school historians, why every phrase in the book with quotations of the Great Mao ends with a smiley and not with punctuation marks?! Naive references to the obscure Chinese language can’t satisfy anyone more. There is a plenty of such examples.
The smileys’ functionality was researched - after Tianuk Srumlen – by a researcher from the town Volsky Pyotr Pryanishnikov (1899—1981). In his works, that – shame on all academies in the world – still have not been published yet, he documentarily shows us the origin smileys’ system out Povolzhsky region (dating from Bulgarian) Sara-kara-tau (in the Tatar language it means — «Yellow-Black Mountain»). Although this researcher hasn’t proved smiley functionality fully (Pyotr Pryanishnikov has been working his whole life as a watchman at the cemetery, where he found priceless smileys' examples; he does not have enough time and no education), this original researcher could become Philosophy Doctor. Rationality proved by Prjanikov is another story. Since the time of Stepan Razin smiley was a competent part of tsar’s documents and anonymous letters written by the robber. Painted kerchiefs from the 17. Century found by the Volsky and Volzhsky researcher are now in the Volsky museum for decorative and applied arts where everyone can have a look at them. They show us many different smileys made by different peoples’ hands (there is since 17. Century a tradition in some dissenters’ villages to leave smileys as symbols for future Old Ritualists).
Other types of smileys were in Russia many times hidden by the emperor linguistic school and treat as pseudofolk paintings (for example near Vologda). The Swastika sign, that many adepts of the nationalism treat as an old Vedic symbol, is nothing but one of the first smileys! The pentagram (and the David’s hexagram) — is also a smiley monument of the great time like the well-known Microsoft-emblem that we’re fed up with but that can also become a sign of our epoch after 2-3 centuries!
Smileystizisms’ functionality lays in the human nature itself: for a human being it is important not only to name an item or an event, to try to represent it, but also to try to change the idea of the smiley so, that it gets another unknown meaning in the future.
Smiley’s rationality is obvious. A human being can only have two passions: one positive and one negative. With endless variety of both types. And it’s easy to show the sense of a passion in a smiley, it’s easy and always fresh! It determines smiley’s power and vitality, but also its weaknesses. Because the most part of his life a human being feels nothing but laziness. And smileys can’t represent laziness. Laziness has no life in it.
I would like to give our dear reader of this research attempt only one example more to prove smiley’s omnipresence and to make the reason of the grown interest to smileystics clear.
Types of rational smileys we know since our school time. All these devils, people of five lines with a circle, faces drawn on the walls of toilets, arrows, squares with Xs and Os (sometimes also Y), and more advanced versions drawn in the university time – what is that if not smileys? Or does anybody mind?