Sarcasm is hard to convey in emails and instant messaging, and many a relationship has gone awry due to an overly literal reading of a snarky electronic communication. Michigan-based Sarcasm Inc. (seriously) has proposed a solution: the SarcMark — an @-like symbol that goes at the end of sarcastic comments to indicate the writer's intent. Is the new punction mark — which can be downloaded at Sarcasm Inc's website for $2 — a good way to prevent misunderstandings, or does it just ruin the joke? (Watch a report about the SarcMark)
If you need the SarcMark, avoid sarcasm: This "supposedly hip new punctuation" is just a "crutch" for people who have no business using sarcasm, says Andrew Lidwell in the San Bruno, Calif., Skyline View, and "I hate it." Sarcasm is subtle, "a reward for the intelligent," so if you have to resort to the decidedly un-subtle SarcMark, you're probably one of the witless, "lazy idiots" who belong "on the receiving end of sarcasm."
"'SarcMark' will just cheapen language"
I'd use it: My first reaction to the SarcMark was "Well, that's stupid," says Erin Scottberg in Lemondrop. But then I realized that when you type, you lose the nuances, gestures, and other "fun flourishes" that make spoken sarcasm so fun and effective. Besides, what other text-based options are there? Italicizing your words or adding a "parenthetical LOL or j/k" just leaves you with a "convoluted, ugly sentence."
"Why I can make peace With the SarcMark (but still hate emoticons)"
The SarcMark threatens the very essence of our language: "SarcMark is an existential threat to ironic humanity," and to free speech, says Joshua Greenman in the New York Daily News. What kind of "punctuation profiteers" try to profit from writing elements? If, say, we had to pay $2 to use a question mark, "we'd start rationing words and ideas." Luckily, the SarcMark "won't take off." There are only so many "suckers" in the world.
"Sarcastic people of the world, unite: In the name of insincerity, take down the SarcMark"
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