Interesting symbol to use when you’re being sarcastic, what are your opinions on it ?

Do you really want to pay to license a trademark for an image symbol nobody will recognize?

Really a great idea (sarcasm).

I like to just spell it out when it might be misinterpreted. A symbol must be known to be effective, so you might introduce it with an explanation.

I think the whole idea to create a symbol for sarcasm was borne out of sarcasm.

Seriously, a symbol? I’d rather people learned how to write… or read, for that matter.

I just hope it’s a sarcastic site.

The shopping cart / purchase process is fully functional.

I use the Irony Plungin for Firefox. This allows me to put my brain in neutral and not actually read anything, just mindlessly scan. (reading being an active process of though about what’s being read, not simple word recognition)

I recommend using this until the irony markup tags mandated for HTML 5 and the semantic web are finalized. This will be a core component of the semantic web so, you know, it’s actually semantic.

Color codes tell me when something is ironic, sarcasm, satire or double entendre. I find it’s much easier than suing my high school for malpractice.

I wonder how people “got” it that books and print material employed these common writing techniques, before the 'net discovered you could display text?

Yeah, saw this on mashable, not paying $2 for an emoticon that no one will recognise, er… like Dan said.

I find the Interrobang symbol – combination of question and exclamation mark (?!) – quite well suited to the zeitgeist of the web.

Writers used sarcasm and people understood it, without any special symbol, off the web for millennia …What the …?!

The world has changed, however, can cannot be compared to previous centuries.

If I wrote a German sentence and added tons of metaphors, idioms, sarcasm, and cynicism that all are specific to my country, then someone who didn’t speak the German language would have a hard time knowing what that very sentence meant, unless he was really really fluent with, not only the language, but the history, culture, and other country-related specifics.

People whose native language is English have a much easier standing, with the internet’s main lingua being English, obviously. Everyone else, however, must understand a great deal of the English culture and the American culture in order to “get” it. And that’s not always easy, I can tell you. So in that respect I can understand the wish for some kind of “aid” for international folks conversing in languages not their own. Or perhaps we should just accept that, as we can’t speak and read all languages in our lifetime, we’ll have to live with those deficits.

I wanted the W3C to include a <sarcasm> element into the specification, there’s been a lot of jokes about including it over the years but I honestly think it would bring some context to the content for those who cannot understand sarcasm, humour (and other expressive methods) - you would be surprised how many people don’t understand those kind of things! Just look at the number of “intent” lawsuits claiming that negative opinions are always some kind of attempt to damage businesses.

I was talking to Anne van Kesteren in an email and put forward the idea of a <expr> element (expression) which could have a type attribute signifying what kind of expression it was putting across (potential values like: humour, parody, sarcasm, irony, satire, opinion, fact). It would certainly help improve a lot of content writing by expressly declaring the intent behind word usage (especially in cases where people object to stuff like opinions). Perhaps I should submit it to the working group :stuck_out_tongue:

Any symbol (or tag) created to summarise what a sequence of words can do better defeats the purpose of language, in my opinion. Smileys are the easy way out as well and I never took a liking to them, even if I do use one every now and then. But even when I do, it’s always out of pure lazyness.

The world has changed, however, can cannot be compared to previous centuries.

Yes, books never crossed borders, cultures, and were never translated before the web. Newspapers never had international editions. Immigration caused books sales in America to remain popular only in small niche audiences. That’s the reason American TV never developed widely popular comedies – too many fragmented first generation immigrant groups to span who didn’t understand the humor.

To this day you can’t find an American movie with worldwide success. Subtitling, despite many tries, eventually proved so futile the practice was ended. And it makes sense, I mean what foreign audience would understand a cowboys and Indians movie or something like Gone With The Wind, with its idiosyncratically American North/South antagonisms.

I would seriously look into that malpractice suit.


So Japanese and Chinese defeats the purpose of language in your opinion?

It is very difficult to understand sarcasm in written text, for one of a few reasons. Some people don’t know how to properly write it, so that it is sarcastic, while others don’t understand what sarcasm is to begin with.

Some people don’t know how to properly write it, so that it is sarcastic, while others don’t understand what sarcasm is to begin with.

Which points to the need for bringing up you writing skill, educating the reader, or not attempting anything requiring skill at all. Which leads us right back to where the 'net is now.

Unfortunately this also penalizes those few writers who might one day improve, with practice.

While the mark – which you’re supposed to pay a licensing fee for – borders on the subject of typography, writing sarcasm is apropos. And if there were more discussions about writing, perhaps fewer special characters would be needed.

A writer may choose to put a word in quotation marks (scare quotes) to indicate an unusual or ironic meaning. If the writing is extremely informal, a writer might put asterisks (*) around a word to emphasize the word or show sarcasm: “You know that I would just love that.”
How to Detect Sarcasm in Writing

Heaven forfend we should talk writing here. Yeah – a mark will make up for all that’s lacking in writing and reading skill. Because everyone lazy enough to refuse to exercise thought about what’s being read will have a thorough knowledge of obscure typographic symbols.

If you can’t use the punctuation that’s there, you’ll do no better adding something completely new.


Roast Writing For The Sarcasm Impaired

I agree DCrux, very few people writing on the web take the time to talk to their audience level, it’s usually a case of “writing for themselves”. Educating the user and keeping the content within reasonable boundaries (in terms of readability and understanding) are in some ways more vital to the process than what is actually written. There’s far too much illegible “blurb” on the web. Though I still think an expression element would be helpful, not in terms of those who can’t understand stuff like humour and context, but for machines (like search engines) who could probably do with a method of trying to get more context and validity out of the results. :slight_smile:

We are talking about the symbols specifically for web communication.

I didn’t know the world comprised all but two centuries. Where have I been?

But you’re right, of course, there are no cultural boundaries. What have I been thinking?!