n. Mock HTML tags used in writing to indicate an emotional state.
Short for "emotion tags", emotags are fake HTML tags put in e-mail messages to make the writer's tone of voice clear.
—“A new industry, a new language,” The Daily Telegraph, November 01, 2001
1995 (earliest)
One of the most significant inroads that WWW has made into the Internet culture is the HTML-ization of emotags. Recent email has gone beyond the initial smiles and limited quantities of emoticons. Email now uses HTML-style emoticons, for example, and . Luckily, this type of communication was found on a WWW mail alias where it was recognized for what it was. This type will evolve to the point that and will become as common as *flame on* and *flame off* warnings.
—Mary E. S. Morris, HTML for Fun and Profit, SunSoft Press, April 01, 1995
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