This week's Venn diagrams will help you bridge that generational gap, and help you get over that frantic search for the opening parenthesis when you see this : ). Or, maybe, it will teach you about the old days, back when dinosaurs cared about the art and style of a well-constructed sentence.
Back to basics. This is like the neanderthal of emoticons (emotithal).
Semicolons are my favorite form of punctuation, but I can't actually wink in real life, so every time I use one of these ;), I feel like a fraud.
I don't actually use the asterisk as part of an emoticon, but I do use it to denote degrees, because how the hell do you make a degree sign on the computer*??
*File this under things I should know, but don't, along with how to change my oil and whether one of them is "Kriss" and one of them is "Kross"