Sarcasm in writing is fun, but it’s also dangerous — what if no one gets I’m being sarcastic or ironic?
How the heck do I communicate sarcasm without ruining the fun? It turns out we can, in multiple different ways, depending on which medium you’re using.
- Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony, and several forms of punctuation have been proposed
- English printer Henry Denham proposed the horizontally flipped question mark in the 1580s “⸮”, called the Percontation point
- French poet Alcanter de Brahm proposed the irony mark, which was followed by other variations:
- Also called Sartalics
- Ironic statements should be printed in italics that lean the other way from conventional italics
- Using regular quotation marks to depict irony
- Usually made much clearer when read out, because it is accompanied by a sarcastic or mocking tone, or “air quotes”
Closing XML tags
- some internet users began using /sarcasm (later shortened to /sarc and /s) to clearly indicate sarcasm
A Large Self-Annotated Corpus for Sarcasm visit(especially in the age of text-to-voice readers)
- itself a simplification of the form of a humorous XML closing tag marking the end of a “sarcasm” block, and therefore placed at the end of a sarcastic passage.
- These have evolved into tone indicators to explicitly state the intonation or intent of the message where it might be ambiguous.
Using the ~ tilde or ~~mixing~~ them up
- minimal punctuation combined with writing in all lowercase — or exaggerated Camel Case
The practice of writing phrases without spaces or punctuation, indicating the separation of words with a single capitalised letter, and the first word starting with either case. visit— also does the trick
- E.g. “He tried explaining my own work to me, like hello ~mAnSpLaiNing~”
- Often combined with omitting words
- E.g. “Dear environmentists: maybe I not “green” but I am red which is compliment color hello did you ever art school?”
SarcMark™: Using ™ to indicate sarcasm/ irony, usually again clubbed with Camel Case