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Why Your Smiley Face Emoticons Turn Into J's In Emails

The ghost of Wingdings past is haunting you.

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According to tech blogger Chris Pirillo, someone at Microsoft decided ":)" should autocorrect to a rounded smiley in another font: Wingdings.

This issue has actually been around since 2010, back when Microsoft released another version of Outlook.

If the sender sends a rich text document and/or HTML email, Microsoft subs in your typed emoticon with a Wingding. So if your computer doesn't support Wingdings, or just isn't feeling that emoticon, it comes up as a sad, eyeless little J. (And sad faces show up as Ls.)

Though he's flagged it with Microsoft several times to no avail, it's not a true bug, Pirillo writes, so long as you don't have Windows running and don't use HTML email. If you use Outlook, his post has a step-by-step guide to disabling these little monsters.

We contacted Pirillo if the issue has changed since 2010. He responded:

Microsoft needs to fix the problem, but they don't see it as a problem.

So, that's the problem.