Thursday, January 21, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Kidding (dumb ass)...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

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Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

A friend of mine forwarded an e-mail to me recently of random funny thoughts/truths and one of them said "Someone Needs To Create A Sarcasm Font." I have been saying this for years! Sarcasm is my preferred expression of humor. Andy, being the gullible Bumble that he is, has learned over the years to discern my sarcastic statements. But that isn't so easy to do in print.

I am often misunderstood in e-mails and it is all because there is no sarcasm font. What looks and sounds hilarious to me when I type it out doesn't always come across that way to those lacking in the sarcasm gene. A handy little sarcasm font would resolve this problem.

I've seen people try to use Italics or Underlining to signal a joking remark - which really just adds an emphasis on the word, insinuating that they are being extra serious. Others have tried all CAPITALS - which can also be confused with yelling. I am left with the ";0)" winking smiley icon - something I throw out there quite often in comments here in the blogosphere to let people know that I'm just kidding or being silly - since they don't really know me.

But even people who do know me don't get my sarcasm all the time in e-mails. Which leaves me with two options. Stop being myself (a wise ass) or start spelling it out every time, assuming they don't have the capacity to decipher humor versus literal meaning. I'm sure that would be wicked popular. (kidding) See? Isn't that annoying? Like I'm being condescending assuming you wouldn't know I was kidding?

So we need to pick a color or create a font available to all and start spreading the word ASAP that it is forever forward exclusively representative of sarcasm. Until then, I'll continue risking being misunderstood. Because starting an argument in the middle of silly banter is exactly my idea of fun. (kidding)

Do you have issues grasping sarcasm? Or are you a snarky typer too? Which would you nominate as the Sarcasm Font? Or do you have sarcasm signal of your own that we need to know about? Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an e-mail/text argument because your sarcasm was misunderstood? Don't be afraid to share - your blogger thoughts are safe with us!

17 comments:

An Eerie Tapestry said...

I remember reading a couple of weeks ago that someone had just invented a sarcasm punctuation mark, the SarcMark, which seems a step in the right direction. I know I've definitely needed a sarcasm font/emoticon/punctuation indication at times in the past. Then again, if there was such a way to indicate sarcasm then people would suddenly realise that what they thought were totally sincere comments from me were downright sarcasm (or vice-versa), so that could backfire on me. Also since sarcasm is a form of wit, albeit the lowest, telegraphing the sarcasm in advance with a font or such might take the surprise out of it (I like people using sarcasm, but I'd get bored if they kept telling me they were going to use it in advance).

Sandy Nawrot said...

I can often be sarcastic, but at the same time I tend to overthink things. So I will write an e-mail or comment, then when I re-read before sending, I realize I sound like a bitch and erase it. 90% of the time, I will detect sarcasm in someone else's communications. But there again, I will sometimes go back and overthink, and say to myself "is this person annoyed with me?"..."am I assuming it is sarcasm but really they are pissed at me?". I drive myself crazy sometimes. The smiley-winky is really the only thing we have. Please invent something!

jehara said...

i love this idea! i will admit to erasing something i've typed in an email or text because i am pretty sure it is not going to come across right. i, myself, do love me some good sarcasm now and again. great post!

Susan said...

Well, you already know my motto, "better a smartass, than a dumbass"! ;) wink-wink

Seriously (not really, I'm hardly ever serious), most of my humor is sarcasm, or snarkism (which is sarcasm with a little mean thrown in, for those who aren't snarks) or punnage. Love a great play-on-words humor.

Sooooo, I'm thinking that we need to use an acronym when we are about to use sarcasm in print. How about SHATH (sarcastic humor about to happen)?

Hey, some of my best friends are sarcasts and snarks, so don't beat yourself up!

Penny said...

I love the On Blogging posts.

Do you have issues grasping sarcasm? I do this quite a bit. Most of the time I am just offended unless it's with my best friend. I call her out on it for being rude and she always says: They need to invent a sarcasm button :)

Or are you a snarky typer too? I try not to be because I don't want to offend anyone.

Which would you nominate as the Sarcasm Font? Something radical or similiar to italics. Italics just look sarcastic and snarky to me :)

Or do you have sarcasm signal of your own that we need to know about? I just use *insert sarcasm* Or I ask after the remark: "Can you sense my sarcasm?'

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an e-mail/text argument because your sarcasm was misunderstood? Not mine, but I have gotten into tiffs with my best friend because of it.

Love the idea of a font or a symbol :)

Janet said...

Sarcasm is me, unfortunately, because the person I spent the most time with doesn't understand it and as a result, we don't hang much anymore.

Carmi said...

Sarcasm and the written word can be a dangerous combination. My high school English teacher - who was a strong early influence in my writing career - always taught me to use sarcasm with great care when writing, because not everyone would get it.

I suspect a sarcasm font would fail to accomplish the task of enlightening readers. If they're too dense to "get" the tone of a sarcastic phrase, they're probably too dense to figure it out even when the font spells it out for them.

Heck, even when you SPEAK with some people, they still don't hear the sarcasm in your voice. It's almost enough to convince me to simply give up and play it straight all the time.

kaye said...

agree with Carmi--I would like a sarcasm button that floated above my head so people would know when I'm speaking a sarcastic phrase! I am often sarcastic and often misinterpreted. I checked out the article Eerie Tapestry referred to. If it was part of the regular emotion icons--maybe everybody would catch on.

stacybuckeye said...

I don't believe in sarcasm.

stacybuckeye said...

Too sarcastic to translate?

ds said...

I try to steer clear of sarcasm unless I know the person really really well or am using it against myself (you know, self-deprecation; I have been depreciating for years ;) ) See? The winky thing...But I never met a pun I didn't love, especially the really bad kind.
Emails are safer than comments as a forum for snark, though. Really.
And btw, NO KIDDING, my word verification is growl! Hmmm...

Lynn said...

I've got nuthin' intelligent to add, but I really enjoyed reading about this. A font for sarcasm -- love it.

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I have the same problem with sarcasm. When speaking I can use my tone of voice and my facial expression so people get the clue that I'm being sarcastic.

It's very hard to do that in writing, especially comments on blogs. I know I have been offending some people so I'm trying very hard not to use sarcasm in comments.

But really -- I love sarcasm and hate to give it up. I'm thinking of putting my sarcastic comments surrounded by quote marks and then saying - that was sarcasm. But, you know, if you have to spell it out for people, it takes the fun out of using it. We do need something.

Dave and Tami said...

I agree that sarcasm doesn't translate well in print, but if I leave it out I would never write anything, so... Hubby spends much time on K-State message board and their rule is to put "/sarcasm" at the end of a snarky remark for those who would otherwise be offended, but I just think that takes all the fun out of it - kind of like telling my blonde daughter a joke, then having to explain it. (Yes - that was snarky, but my explaining it just ruins it.) I vote for a specific text color - sa y, purple, cause that's my favorite. It's subtle, yet allows for the non-snarkers of the world to join the fun.

Dave and Tami said...

Now that I've had a little more time to think this through, I have decided that I actually would vote for your post title as the clue - just write "I'm kidding, dumb ass." at the end of each snarky sentence. Maybe not?

Jersey Girl said...

Totally relate. I've been misunderstood many times, both online and in emails at work. I can't believe I'm so much more intelligent than most people (snark, snark).

Ashley Ladd said...

Yep. I tend to get sarcastic or tease. Both on my blog and in speaking. I have no clue how to show it other than the smiley. I've learned from my day job that people get really testy if you assume they don't get it. Of course I've also learned you can't please everybody and some people are sensitive and take things the wrong way no matter how you say them or what you do.