Good news for anybody who’s ever tried to add a little personal flair to a work e-mail, only to see their well-intended smiley get transformed into a random “J” by the cold logic of the machine: Microsoft has finally fixed a bug that’s been J-ing up Outlook user’s emoticons for nearly seven years.
The good news is being circulated today courtesy of Business Insider, which actually wrote about the change back in May. (Presumably, there’s been so little reason to smile lately that people just didn’t notice.) The article detailing the fix also explains the weird reason the bug happened in the first place, and it turns out it’s all Wingdings’ fault.
For those of you who’ve never wiled away lazy days in a high school computer lab, dicking around with fonts, Wingdings is Microsoft’s own set of emoji-likes, allowing users to express complicated concepts like “landline” and “bomb.” They also include a smiley face, mapped to where J would normally be on a keyboard. Which is the problme; Outlook, when it runs into a smiley, transforms it into Wingdings, and then, when it hits a system without the font installed, turns it back into a J.
Not that all of that especially matters; the important thing is that Outlook users can now get their e-mail flirtations on without anybody wondering why the hell “J” keeps butting into their conversations.