The Washington Times - December 12, 2008, 08:40AM

A Russian businessman says an agency in his country has granted him a patent for ;-), the “emoticon” that represents a wink and a smile, the BBC is reporting.

The businessman’s patent might include the emoticons :-), which represents a smile without a wink, and :), which represents a smile without a nose.

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Emoticons have been around for years, but this appears to be the first time someone has laid ownership claims to one. In this economy, I guess you’ve got to try everything to make a buck.

I don’t like emoticons because people make up their own and I’m never quite sure what they’re trying to tell me. I got one the other day that looked like this — |:’<)). I think it means I am frowning and crying because I have a double chin. I don’t know why anyone would want to tell me that.