I never understood what that meant. From testing, below is 'enabled emoticons' (for me, 3 smiley faces), and the above is 'disabled emoticons', but with "." replaced by ":" colon. In case anyone else wondered like me.
Yes, I am quite sure that I turned them off because I had a wargaming move notation that made a mess when used with emoticons. The problem is that I was new then and I couldn't find out how to reset this. Thank you.