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Internet Sarcasm

Cynics of the world rejoice: Introducing the sarcastic punctuation mark.
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

When you're chatting or instant messaging, you ever run into one of those weird situations where you want to say something that's sarcastic, but worry the person on the other end will take it all too seriously? If you elect to deliver that biting sarcasm, and they agree with you, you then wonder "Did they get it? Are they agreeing sarcastically?"

So much confusion over such a simple thing.

The closest standard we have to signal to someone else that we're not being serious is the winking emoticon ;). But really that conveys more of a friendly kidding than, say, a wickedly sarcastic remark. Plus, what if you're in a bad mood? You don't want to give the impression that you're happy.

I propose we add a little more variety to our online conversations by adopting the tilde(~) as the sarcastic punctuation mark. That way we know that when someone says something and puts a '~' after it, they really mean the opposite.

So, what do you say? Is this "the best idea ever! ;)" or is this "the best idea ever~!"

kurleykyew, May 25 2003

.-) http://www.randomho...barry/emoticon.html
I think that you will find that there are millions already. [po, Oct 17 2004]

ha ha only serious http://wombat.doc.i...?ha+ha+only+serious
yay jargon file! [rapid transit, Oct 17 2004]

Sarcasometer http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Sarcasometer
courtesy of the HB [mrthingy, Oct 17 2004]


       Gotta be the first to say it: We totally need more emoticons~.
bquady, May 25 2003

       ; )~
Is it a dimple? A goatee? Sarcasm?
thumbwax, May 25 2003

       Am I wrong in assuming that the star is used most commonly for sarcasm? eg. we *must* have more emoticons.
reap, May 25 2003

       If you need special punctuation to get it across, you're not doing it right.
waugsqueke, May 25 2003

       ¦-| and this is stony.
bristolz, May 25 2003

       Baked, numerous times by me over the years.   

       Most recently, it was with the addition of "y0" to the end of every sarcastic sentence. For some reason, "y0" had become the standard punctuation for an end of a sentence, instead of a period, or say... nothing. It really annoyed me when I heard people say it, and it made them sound like they were invalids. So I adapted it, and when combined with a slight pause and an expressive face, people got the joke quickly. Actually typing out "y0" online was even more effective. Typing like a script kiddie makes it seem all the much more ridiculous, leading even the densest people to catch onto the sarcasm.   

       Ironically enough, this sarcastic denotation caught on and became even more popular than saying "y0" in a non-sarcastic context. Soon enough my friends and I were cringing whenever we heard it, in the same manner that we did with airquotes. The cringing is what made us come up with the alternate denotation in the first place.   

       Damn irony gods.   

       Going back to talking like a script kiddie, l33tspeak is a fairly effective way of denoting sarcasm or facetiousness. Observe.   

       "What? You mean to say that the Half Bakery is populated by a million monkeys and their typewriters?"   


       "WTF??? u m33n 2 s4y 1/2b si fu11 uv j0m0s??!!!11"   

       Not a very funny example, but you can see how the formula works. Basically, you sometimes have to make an idea so outrageous that people will understand its context. Sometimes not even the best writing in the world will give people a clue-pon. Steps like this must sometimes be taken. It's sad, but true.   

       (Oh yeah, I'll give you a + since I abhor the emotion tags in ICQ. Anything that might prevent people from using them is a good thing.)
rapid transit, May 25 2003

       If the intended message is not received, it is always the fault of the author.
waugsqueke, May 25 2003

       We're going to hold you to that, [waugs]
RayfordSteele, May 25 2003

       Within the boundary of the intended audience, that is true. It is not, however, the fault of the author of an English language book if a non-English language reader attempts to read the book. Nor is it his fault if a reader has not the background education or experience to comprehend the writings.
bristolz, May 25 2003

       Unfortunately, [rapid transit], history has proven many times over that there is no guaranteed //idea so outrageous that people will understand its context//.   

       We must simply accept that there are some people whom irony cannot reach.   

       And laugh directly into their uncomprehending faces~.
friendlyfire, May 25 2003

       On the Gale IM system (see esp. http://gale.org/engage.html), we double quotes are used to denote non-seriousness. "Wouldn't it be easier to just re-train Internet users to speak literally all the time?" It seems to work for highlighting sarcasm. Another common existing habit in many forums seems to be to delimit with something like <sarcasm>...</sarcasm> tags, or just to end with </sarcasm>.
beland, May 25 2003

       Quotes wouldn't work very well for me since I actually do quote people rather often, and typing </sarcastic> takes too long, and frankly marking comments XML style is a little geeky.   

       oh, also I use *s to put *emphasis* on a word. Sometimes it communicates sarcasm, sometimes it's used for other things. The tilde is a single, simple, character that doesn't have a widely assigned use already.
kurleykyew, May 25 2003

       I imagine hoardes of people will be lining up to use this any second now ~. §, on the other hand looks pretty gorram cool. Plus bonus points for looking like the letter S, the first letter in the word "sarcasm"
Jezzie, May 25 2003

       bris, indeed, the author can only be responsible for the intended audience. The unintended take their chances.   

       ray, by all means, do. I would hold you to no less.
waugsqueke, May 25 2003

       Okay, so what's the symbol for only half-joking?
RayfordSteele, May 25 2003

DrCurry, May 25 2003

       Half joking = Ha ha only serious.   

       (see link for geekish elaboration)
rapid transit, May 25 2003

       I am honored to grant this idea its seventh positive vote, which abolishes the fishbone and prepares the empty platter for its well-deserved croissant, which, I assure, will arrive presently.
phundug, May 25 2003

       and here comes the eight. I'm sorry [waugs], but I don't understand your arguments. It's probably your fault ~
Pericles, May 26 2003

       no "-NOT!"'s, no anything denoting sarcasm-it's been said, if you need punctuation, you're not doing it right. And if you can't catch onto that, you shouldn't have been given use of a computer.

"Who invented sarcasm?"

"I did."
igirl, May 26 2003

       Ah... a classic case of unintended audience.
waugsqueke, May 27 2003

       As opposed to uninterested audience.
egbert, May 27 2003

       You ain't never gettin' me using no damn emoticons.
-alx, May 27 2003

bristolz, May 27 2003

       There's sarcasm on the internet?
Canuck, May 28 2003

       Are you serious?
goober, May 28 2003

       "Emoticon proliferation may require the invention of an emoticon-to-XML translator."
beland, May 28 2003

       [reap]I thought the *star* -just- highlighted. I am not being sarcastic.
thecat, Jun 16 2003

       [thumbwax]'s ; )~   

       is reminiscent of Dr. Evil's pinky in the mouth routine, which seems fitting when dishing out sarcasm.   

       So perhaps the "complete" emoticon should be ; )~ and ~ could be its abbreviation.
berg, Feb 18 2004

       I always thought the squiggle at the bottom of a smilie indicated drool.
Soterios, Apr 30 2005

       It does, but it also means "the trailer ain't level, y'all, or it'd look like ;-)=".
reensure, May 01 2005

       Python is far superior to Java--although I must admit that the built-in non-browser-based JRE was one of my favorite features about OS/2 Warp 4 (which, FWIW, kicked arse).
disbomber, May 01 2005

       \\If the intended message is not received, it is always the fault of the author\\ Clearly [waugs]' postal service is better than mine.
hidden truths, Sep 23 2005

pashute, Jan 27 2006


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