Wednesday, January 13

New Age Sarcasm

Yeah, but are we really in a new age?

Sarcasm, Inc., is saying that we all need to insert a new piece of punctuation into our already wordy society to offset real, honest dialogue from biting, sarcastic language. How? By inserting a SarcMark, that's how. Like that will work (insert SarcMark here).

Me, I don't like being sarcastic. There are those in our world who really do take things in context, and don't appreciate the unambiguous form of some speech. Myself included. But what I do have a tendency to use is the "other" side of sarcastic language: facetious.

Ask anyone who is around me on a daily basis, and they'll tell you I never say "I'm being sarcastic"; rather, I'll say "I'm being facetious".

So after reading the article at UPI this morning, I did start wondering: am I using facetious language, or sarcastic? And am I using the two terms correctly?

A search for facetious vs. sarcastic brings up first a BlogRot1 entry from 2007 with two examples that sum up the difference nicely:

Facetious: When he whistled at the girls on the street while leering from his convertible, it was easy to make a facetious comment that he was acting like a dog.

Sarcastic: When he whistled at the girls on the street while leering from his convertible, it was easy to make a sarcastic comment that he was acting like an angel.

In other words, the difference appears to be that facetious is a comment that is cute and not hurtful, while sarcasm is irony intended to taunt and hurt.

And what of the SarcMark? You need software to make it work. For only $1.99 you, too, can start using punctuation that half of those on the internet don't know how to use in the first place. The image above is what it looks like. Me? I'll stick with the more-common punctuation of a period.

1 Blogrot refers to a blog which has died an untimely death. Or not. One that may indeed have useful information, but has not been updated for quite some time; as in the case of the one I got the facetious vs. sarcasm reference, it has not been updated since 2007.

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