A sarcasm mark? Really?

Sarcasm Inc. has created a SarcMark, which resembles an open circle with a dot in the center, to indicate statements not meant to be read literally. The program can be downloaded for $1.99, reports UPI.

“Statements have the period. Questions have the question mark. Exclamations have the exclamation mark. When you see the newest punctuation mark for sarcasm, you’ll know the writer of that sentence doesn’t literally mean what they’re writing; they’re being sarcastic,” the company said in a release.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think writers shouldn’t use sarcasm unless they can make it clear that it’s sarcasm without one of these newfangled punctuation marks. And readers should try thinking as they read.

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Comments

  1. Don Bemont says:

    An interesting twist.

    In the print era, writing may not have been easy, but one could expect quite a bit from readers, including attention to tone. With the advent of email, texting, etc. irony and sarcasm are lost on readers as often as not.

    So along comes an entrepreneur who wants to offer “choice” in how to deal with this — but you want to keep the status quo, complete with shared and therefore muddy accountability between writers who “shouldn’t use sarcasm unless they can make it clear that it’s sarcasm” while “readers should try thinking as they read.”

    And, presumably, your viewpoint has not been motivated by an evil unions or an interest in protecting the very worst writers.

  2. Could folks just master the comma first?

  3. “think writers shouldn’t use sarcasm unless they can make it clear that it’s sarcasm without one of these newfangled punctuation marks.”

    Yeah, right.

  4. This sounds like an excellent idea. I wonder if the company has gone public yet.

  5. Kudos to Dan for showing us why the new mark isn’t needed!

    If the mark became something that is used commonly, I wonder if sarcasm would increase in written communications. It could be that people sometimes leave out sarcastic comment because they worry they will not be understood to be sarcasm and taken literally bye the reader.

    Sarcasm is often mean-spirited. Is more sarcasm a good thing?

  6. Independent George says:

    I actually take pride in the inscrutability of my remarks.

  7. Soapbox0916 says:

    I blame this on twitter. Before twitter there was context.

    However as someone with a sarcastic tone that has frequently been misunderstood in light casual conversation, this is not any worse than a smiley face. When I read this I was thinking about casual use of language on social media, not serious literature.

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