Tech Dirt – Jan. 15, 2010:

We’ve pointed out in the past how unfortunate it is that so few browsers recognize the sarcasm markup tag in HTML, because sarcasm sometimes gets missed in text. Apparently some random company is trying to fix that by creating an explicit sarcasm punctuation mark, called the SarcMark, made up of a squiggle around a dot. I’m hoping the whole effort itself is sarcastic, because the company has apparently registered a trademark on it (no, you can’t use that punctuation!) and is trying to get you to pay $1.99 for a special app to let you use the mark. What a great deal! I’ll buy 6!

I have to admit that the inability of some people to detect, or even understand sarcasm is a real problem. I’ve written before about the teacher who was actually arrested for posting a sarcastic comment. And I was taken seriously for a piece I wrote that I considered to be obvious satire. (Note to the internet, when the writer is in favor of euthanasia for healthy people, he’s probably kidding!)

  1. hhopper says:

    People who don’t have a sense of humor don’t understand satire.

    Probably using a smiley is the best bet.

  2. Waltersobchack says:

    Of course simply typing “/sarc” is free, but an enormous hassle that is a huge pain in the balls.

  3. interglacialman says:

    you sure this is for real and they are not just being sarcastic?

  4. clancys_daddy says:

    Pay for it hell, it’s my first amendment right.

  5. soundwash says:

    If the moron who pushed the idea of “Politically Correct” into the mass mind was never born, we probably would never have had this problem.

    That aside…this is why we have a nation of dumbed down idiots. rather teach people something, more and more we are relying on tools to “interpret” for us..

    If you have trouble detecting sarcasm, which in effect, is just witty humour. it would seem to me that you are “wound too tight” -and take everything way too seriously, which is a grave mistake IMO. -undue stress will kill ya early for sure..

    Just do us all a favour…don’t go into politics or law. –and FFS, Lighten Up!!


  6. Ah_Yea says:

    I’d LOVE to pay for sarcasm!!


  7. JScott says:

    This problem is common on both the web and email. Many people forget that when others are unable to read your facial expression, it is difficult to avoid being taken out of context or being taken serious when you are joking. Sarcastic remarks are even easier to take out of context because you are intentionally using words that do not match your meaning. Losing the proverbial hint-hint and wink just makes it worse.

  8. hhopper says:

    That’s why emoticons were invented.

  9. McCullough says:

    Yes Steve, good point. You may also want to check your sarcasm detection meter, I think it’s seriously flawed.

    #8 JScott said it best.

  10. Skeptic says:

    What about using the inverted question mark? … ¿

    It’s a free dot and squiggle.

  11. hhopper says:

    …or this: §

  12. SWAT45 says:

    I’m amazed that no one has metioned the old saying “sarcasm is lost on small children and fools” I don’t beleive emoticons or other punctuations would help either group.

  13. TooManyPuppies says:

    A buttload of money was spent in some study that concluded that failure to spot or understand written sarcasm is a serious mental illness. For the good of the gene pool, we need to hunt these people down and kick them out of the country.

  14. Martin says:

    I think we should keep sarcasm to ourselves. If you’re not savvy enough to recognize it you can’t be part of club.

    Life is too short to spend time trying to help adults grow up and think a little.

  15. cfk says:

    SarcMark? Like that would work…

  16. trirnoth says:

    Oh a sarcasm punctuation mark, well that’s a REAL useful invention.

  17. Thomas says:

    I think having a special symbol that you have to pay for and download onto your computer to show sarcasm is a great idea along with Obama’s Presidency, Bush’s Presidency, carbon credits, new Coke and Greedo shooting first.

  18. deowll says:

    Sarcasm is dangerous. Been there and done that.

  19. sargasso says:

    Without satire, life’s mockery is reduced to recreational drollery.

  20. Jim says:

    I prefer to use €.

    It’s sooo much better than any OTHER symbol and means SO much to people.

  21. FRAGaLOT says:

    must be sarcastic reason why this character/logo looks like an ear.

  22. Buzz says:

    …not one red cent, asshole!

  23. I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of
    internet thus from now I am using net for articles or reviews,
    thanks to web.


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