For years, probably since I started using email at work (back in the late ’90’s) my communications have sometimes been mis-read… to the detriment of my intended meaning.
I often joke at work, all tongue in cheek, never intend to cause harm or offence.
But irony & sarcasm can be hard to pick up in an email & sometimes people can get upset.
I’ve been a big fan of emoticons; to carry the meaning to the reader that I may not be 100% serious in my comments. & these serve their purpose, but don’t come across as too professional… neither probably does humour but eh 🙂
Anyway, I’ve often wished for a universal font that would alert the reader, that the words been read should be taken with a pinch of salt… I think I’ve found the next best thing, & I’d like your help to disseminate it into popular use.
Ladies & Gentleman, Stumblers with nothing better to do, I present you with the punctuation mark for sarcasm:
In writing and often subtitles, especially in British English, a (!) symbol (an exclamation point within parentheses) implies that a character has made an obviously sarcastic comment e.g.: “Ooh, a sarcasm detector. That’s a really useful invention(!)” wiki
Please try applying it in every day use.
When people ask why the exclamation point is in brackets explain to them its meaning… easier & less embarrassing than explaining the original joke.
Let the World know when we’re taking the piss, let sarcasm & irony be used freely, & more importantly understood, in electronic text based dialogues across the planet!