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Sarcasm: the newest form of punctuation?

Sarcasm: the newest form of punctuation?

When communicating using the written word, a remark which was intended to be humorous is often taken completely the wrong way; offence is caused, usually quite unnecessarily. With this in mind a man called DougSak has invented what is known as the SarcMark, a symbol intended to signify that the text preceding it is sarcastic. Although some have described the SarcMark as a gimmick, Sak maintains that it took many years to plan the new punctuation mark and to ensure that it would be compatible across many different operating systems and throughout most available fonts. Thousands of people are said to have already paid for and downloaded theSarcMark software from Sak’s company, Sarcasm Inc., in order to use the mark in their emails and text messages.

Some article writers have expressed doubts about the new mark, which has the appearance of a back-to-front curly letter c enclosing a central dot. It is thought that highlighting sarcasm in this way spoils the fun of it, which lies partly in the fact that the recipient guesses for themselves that the tone is ironic. There is also the feeling that people should be capable of expressing sarcasm in words alone. Some content writers are unhappy at the idea of being obliged to pay in order to use a punctuation symbol. Others have pointed out that there is already a mark used to indicate sarcasm: the EthiopianTemherte Slaqî, which is an inverted exclamation mark used at the end of sentences to signal unreality, or sarcasm.

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