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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is an emoticon created with unicode character symbols. The face is often used to spam forums and image boards, similar to the Japanese word “desu”. On 4chan, it has also come to be known as “Le Lenny Face” or “Le Face Face.”
One of the earliest appearances of the emoticon was posted to the Finnish image board Yilauta at 8:45 a.m. EST on November 18th, 2012. Posted on the site’s International board, “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” was used as a comment in a thread about whether or not administrators should change the settings on their spam detector. After someone complained about seeing too many posts in stickied threads, an anonymous user used the emoticon and the phrase “this thread is leaking from the heavens.” Other users began derailing the thread by posting derivatives of the emoticon with different types of eyes, which continued for three days.
By 11 a.m. (ET) that same day, the face had been posted to 4chan’s /v/ (video games) board, followed by similar posts on /sp/ (sports) and /b/, where numerous users were eventually banned (shown below, right) for spamming the boards with the emoticon. A screenshot of these bans was also shared on FunnyJunk, where it earned 3900 points and gained more than 101,000 views.
Redditor Dogcatcher1979 submitted a post titled “So I guess this is a thing now?” to the /r/4chan subreddit at approximately 3 p.m. EST, which included a screenshot of the face being used in a 4chan thread (shown below, right). In the post, Redditor 8-bit_d-boy commented that the face resembled the children’s television show character Bob the Builder. By 4 p.m. EST, 4chan users had raided the /r/Israel subreddit (shown below, left), with some users referring to the emoticon as “le Palestine face.”
Also on November 18th, World of Warcraft Forums member Kuallius submitted a post titled “The Sha of Casuals ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” and YouTuber cubegoat uploaded a video titled “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” (shown below, left). On the following day, cubegoat uploaded another video titled “Fresh ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) of /b/el Air,” featuring various animated versions of the emoticon accompanied by the theme song for the 1990’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (shown below, right). As of November 29th, there are more than 1450 search results for “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” on YouTube.
Over the next several days, various threads with the emoticon popped up on HUPIT Gaming, Tech N9ne, gun enthusiast forum AR15, the IGN Forums and the Facepunch forums, among others. Additional mentions were found on Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo! Answers. As of November 29th, 2012, there are more than 150 Facebook pages containing “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” in the title on Facebook. The largest of these fan pages was created on November 18th and has 4120 likes.
Derivative: ( ‾ʖ̫‾)
In April 2013, 4chan’s /b/ (random) board reportedly became flooded with an emoticon bearing a marked resemblance to the “lenny face.” Denoted as “( ‾ʖ̫‾),” the emoticon was defined as the “Keep Calm and Carry On” face by the online emoji dictionary site Emojicons on April 19th, followed by similar strings of mentions on Tumblr, Facebook, Steam and several imageboard and forum communities. However, it should be noted that the emoticon had been circulating among Japanese Twitter users prior to its introduction on the English-speaking web.
On June 10th, 2013, Tumblr user Franklenlobo blogged that his computer’s text-to-speech program pronounced the “( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)” emoticon as “deg deg.” Within the following five weeks, the post accumulated upwards of 112,000 notes.
On June 26th, Tumblr user Cynical-Seadragon posted screenshots of the emoticon made out of building blocks in the indie sandbox game Minecraft, captioned with the keyword “degdeg” (shown below, left). On July 13th, Tumblr user TakeFlightLittleBird posted a collage of the emoticon in 39 different fonts (shown below, right), gaining over 18,700 notes in the first four days.
On July 15th, the AnimatedText Tumblr blog highlighted a rotating animated GIF featuring four copies of the emoticon posted with the tag “degdeg.” Within the next 48 hours, the post garnered upwards of 1,000 notes.