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As designed Surrounding some smileys with parentheses breaks the smiley


XenForo developer
Staff member
Really, it's just ambiguous. However, it's parsed left to right, so it finds the first smiley (: which sets up the rest of how it parses.
Just posting here because I ran into this issue and searched for "emoticon parentheses" and didn't immediately find this thread. This post ought to fix that for others in the future.