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Here’s what every emoticon really means

Emoticons are pretty important:

  • Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker says they're an extremely useful linguistic evolution.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary named "crying face" the word of the year.
  • Humans collectively send 6 billion emoticons every day.

But they don't teach emoticons in school, and some of them are actually hard to understand — at least for some of us.

Below we've listed the actual definitions for all the main emoticons.

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