In Korea, the average Internet user neither uses nor understands the standard Western emoticons, e.g. :) ;) :( etc. Instead, they have their own, separate set. The main differences is that theirs are viewed straight on, rather than being tilted at 90 degrees. This is an obvious advantage, but the corresponding disadvantage is that it leaves room only for the eyes and nose, no mouth. Therefore, all facial expression is conveyed with the eyes.

The most common one, representing smiling eyes and corresponding to :) is ^.^ The two ^s are the happy eyes and the period is the nose. Sometimes the nose is left out, and just the eyes used: ^^


^.* : Winking

@.@ : Dizzy / Glazed Eyes

-.- : Bored / Sleeping

-.-^^: Angry (I'm not sure why... best guess is that the ^^ is supposed to be steam venting from the ear, since that's what they usually use to show anger in comics, etc.)

-,.-: Sad. This one I'm not entirely sure of, since it's been a while since I've seen it. The comma is supposed to be a teardrop but I can't remember where it goes.

^.^;: Sweat drops.

There are undoubtedly others that I haven't seen, but my students haven't been keen on helping me for this node when I've asked them.

Note: Japanese emoticons, from what I can tell, are similar, but use a _ for a mouth instead of a period for a nose. It's sometimes seen in Korea too.