It may have been somewhat sorted like that in the past, yes.
In a sense, it may be more sorted now, since it's sorted by the mark-up code. The list is generated from image files in a directory, so it does them in directory order (alphabetical) and the icons are named by their code. The smileys got changed to be by code-word instead of punctuation, so they are no longer together anymore.
I'm not sure sorting will be much help no matter what we do. There are just too many and the tags and/or meaning are not going to be so well known, I think. I think smiley's in apps have this issue too. It seems like I have to page through tons of emoticons to find one I want.
The auto-fill pop-up thing should help too... Like when you read this and don't like my reply, you can type * fro.. (and it will fill in frown
). I tried to use decent names for the smileys that shouldn't be hard to match up (probably easier than the punctuation ones).