I think we need a new punctuation mark to indicate sarcasm. Personally, I like to use the exclamation point, but that only works if other people know that you wouldn't normally use an exclamation point unless there was some kind of an emergency and people's lives were in danger. And, let's face it, probably not even then. No, what we really need is an ironic exclamation point. Maybe an exclamation point with a little smiley face at the bottom? Or a winky face? Or an asterisk?

The great thing about an ironic exclamation point would be how much easier it would be to communicate. Writers wouldn't be restricted to using mere words to convey their meaning. And readers wouldn't have to actually read the writer's words in order to understand them.

When was the last time we got a new punctuation mark, anyway? Don't you think that it's high time we did? I say we draw up some plans, take a vote on the best design, circulate a petition and then ...

Shit. Who's in charge of new punctuation marks? Anybody?


Visual-Field said...

How about enclosing the statement in ~s, such as:

~The weather was great in Cambridge last Saturday.~

Robert said...

I'm guessing Bill Gates is in charge. And in Microsofts honor, I propose that the new ironic exclamation point should be the middle finger.

Robert said...

Since my typing sucks, add the neccesary apostrophes where needed.


Katie said...

Wow 3 comments and it is just 11:00 a.m. !!* Did I use it correctly?
I think that this is the beginning of something. I think you should put in for the trademark right
How is it that you get the exact picture in which I am sticking out my tongue? How did the pictures of that crazy beach house come out?

Katie said...

Hey g,
do you change your ads at the top of the page? they're all about hair cuts....

Galileo said...

Actually, with the rapid expansion of electronic communications in the last two decades, this is probably a very apt concept. So much of our communication has gone into written form (typed, even, so it lacks any inflection indicated by handwriting) that tonal markings, such as the traditional exclamation point, make a lot of sense.

I think we should design a new single character mark. It could be an exclamation point (!) with an asterisk (*) for the dot. Of course, now that we've changed the traditional character set, we'll have to update all the computers and keyboards. Just think of all the profits in upgrade fees!*

(I still like the two character version until we get the technical change made!*)

Gienna said...

Robert -- Damn, I *knew* there was a Bill Gates joke in there somewhere. Good one.

Katie -- the pay-per-click ads change automatically based on content. Not that it matters, since no one ever clicks on them, anyway.

Berto said...

Wouldn't a new puncuation mark kill fun? Isn't the great part of sarcasm that unsure feeling the listener has, always asking themselves, am I being mocked?

Just asking!*

Gienna said...

Oh, Berto. I'm pretty sure you can always just assume you're being mocked.