Gmail, that mail you either love or hate (I hate it) now has emoticons in it. You know these as "smiley faces" or just "smileys".

Google’s Gmail, of course, is not the first to use emoticons. Just about all web-based mail has the option.

Quick quiz! Tell me what this Gmail emoticon represents: 4F4

Yeah, that’s what I thought it was, too.

How about this one? image

Yeah, same thing.

If that’s not awesome I don’t know what is (note my sarcasm).

Want to know what’s even better? To waste as much time as possible when composing e-mails, Gmail has 169 emoticons to choose from.

Did I say Gmail was awesome? I meant super-cool-awesome. 169 emoticons? Oh yeah. That’s top drawer stuff. Never mind the inability to sort mail without a filter, because darn it, emoticons come first.

A gallery of dopey emoticons

Gmail’s emoticons (the first 79):


Yahoo!’s emoticons:


(I like the cow.)

Hotmail’s emoticons:


(You never know when you need a sheep icon, right? And yes, MICROSOFT BOB IS IN HOTMAIL AS AN EMOTICON – ugh..)