Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Sarcasm Font, or, my attempt at feeling better about the world at large

I'm hoping to shear two sheep with one hand here. (Yes, I'm aware that's not really the metaphor typically used. I'm also aware it doesn't make sense. But I don't advocate killing animals when I can help it, so go with the mad hatter version, kay?)

U kNo ThE pEePuL oN TeH iNtErNeT wHo WrAiTe LeIk ThIs?

Well, that's one problem.

And then there's the problem of sarcasm on the internet. See, sarcasm is a silent social killer-- undetectable to the naked stranger's eye (whoa naked stranger!), it can kill a conversation faster than bringing up Charles Manson. Unless you're already talking about Charles Manson.

See, the thing about people is that a lot of us (especially 'round these parts) connect to people that we don't already know by using humor. And sarcasm, though some call it the lowest form of humor. . . chumps. . . is one of the ways that people escape the social awkwardness of a new meeting and connect with the person they're talking to. But it's a risk, especially in type, because it can look totally serious when you tell them that Charles Manson is your hero. For reals. If the person doesn't understand or know that you tend to be a sarcastic person, they may turn and run. Screaming.

What's an internet-savvy person to do? Well, I suppose the easiest way is just to not use sarcasm with someone you just met. But who wants to do that?

Therefore, and heretowith, I propose a sarcasm font. I propose that when writing in sarcastics, one should aLtErNaTeLy CaPiTaLiZe every other letter of each word. Ideally, this will catch on and HTML text editors and word processing programs will have an sS next to the i, b, and u they already have for the other font effects, so you don't have to actually type like that. Hopefully within six months to a year, depending on the power of the movement.

The other benefit, which is also an assessed risk, is that everyone else who already types on the internet like this will eventually be automatically assumed to be sarcastic. Thus rescuing my faith in humanity because SERIOUSLY WHO DOES THAT ALL THE TIME AND WHY WOULD YOU IT TOOK ME LIKE TEN TIMES LONGER THAN NORMAL TO TYPE THE PARTS WHERE I DID THAT IN THIS POST NO WONDER YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ARE SO ATROCIOUS.

Okay. I feel better now.


  1. What a wonderful idea. I wish it didn't take so long to type though.

    Now I can't think of anything sarcastic to say!

  2. Fairyhedgehog-- have I told you how much I adore your name, btw?

    I had the same problem. I was all like, uh... any minute now, I'll think of some searing sarcastic thing to say! It will come to me in about twenty minutes, I'm sure.

  3. LOL

    Sarcasm has never been my forte. Or humor for that matter. I think I'd shy away from using the sarcasm font just because I wouldn't know how to properly do so.

  4. Stephanie-- the cool thing about the sarcasm font is that no one will take what you're saying while using it seriously. You can't lose! Unless you're having an emergency and your keyboard is stuck on the sarcasm font and you're trying to get other people to help you but they think you're just being sarcastic.

    Hmmm. On second thought, I suppose you could lose.

    I always say, do what you're comfortable with.

    Also: freaking typos! "Sheer" in the first sentence has now been changed to "shear," as I don't need translucent sheep anytime soon.

  5. I dunno -- translucent sheep might be an interesting new breed.

    Also: wHy wOuLd yOu wAnT tO sPeNd sO mUcH tImE oN a SpIfFy SaRcAsM fOnT wHeN iTs MoRe FuN tO kEeP pEoPlE gUeSsInG?

  6. Matt-- if you've ever watched Monty Python's Flying Circus, the second episode of the first season has flying sheep. Something tells me translucent sheep might not be much better. And if you haven't ever watched Monty Python's Flying Circus, the whole thing is on Netflix now and doooooo ittttttt.

    As to your second point, true. But I'm not sure whether to believe you or not since you WrOtE iT lIkE tHiS.

  7. I figure people should be able to tell when I'm being sarcastic. If not, they probably don't want to hang out with me because I'm sarcastic a lot.

  8. Reading that sarcasm font makes me feel like I'm having a seizure. Awesome post!

  9. Stephanie-- Good point. I only suggest this as a tool for getting sarcasm across on the internet, especially to people you don't already know.

    Lydia-- Hello and welcome and thank you! Please don't actually have a seizure.

  10. There's always the Sarcmark!

  11. That's it. I'm doing all my blog posts in all caps from now on OR in the alternating style. OR BoTh!

    Seriously, I think I have brain damage. You are awesome!

  12. Amalia-- !! I wonder if it will ever catch on. If people will ever WANT it to catch on.

    Taryn-- I know, me either!

    Elana-- I would LOVE to see that. But it hurt to write the few words I did. I wept a little. I hate the thought of you hurting like I did because I brought it up.

  13. Lt HoSt, I tHiNk ThIs Is A fAbUlOuS iDeA!1!1!

    Hey, waddya know. It works! ;-)

  14. Adam-- I'm impressed. The use of !1!1! is an advanced level move. Congratulations, you have a black belt in sarcastics. I'm so proud!

  15. *Snort-laughing* Yes, we DOOOOOOO need a sarcasm font, but the alternating of capital letters made my eyes bleed.

  16. Wendy-- I concur. I am open to other solutions, but I thought this one would take some of the wind out of the sails of the folks who use that sort of writing on a regular basis.

  17. looooooool


    wIlL YoU Be mY BeStEsT fRieNd EvArrRrRr??
    aLsO WiTh cHaRleS maNsOn CUz OBVS hEs WaY CoOlLlLlLlLLLL

    omg that was incredibly difficult to write.

    great post!

  18. I love the idea of the sarcasm font. lol!

  19. Tahereh-- I admire your tenacity in getting that out with such an authentic feel. Must have been painful *shudders at memories*. Take solace in writing normally now ;)

    Angela-- thank you!

    And welcome to you both!

  20. I agree. We need a sarcasm font. I tweeted that one time and got a reply tweet from a group that is lobbying for the upside down exclamation point (I think that's what it was) to indicate sarcasm.

    Someone else said "..."at the end of a sentence means sarcasm. But come one, to me that means something entirely different.