Smilies are small graphics which represent emotions. If you sometimes chat, you probably know the concept. Some standard codes or strings are automatically converted into smilies. If you turn your head on the side and use your imagination, you can probably recognize little faces.
Here is a list of the Smilies available in this forum:
If you don't want smilies in a post, check the 'Deactivate Smilies' box when posting. Then ;) will stay as it is and not be converted!