Why can’t someone invent a typography emphasis for sarcasm?
I feel like sarcasm is so hard to write in text, especially on the web where everything you say can be interrupted differently. It’s just so hard to say something in a sarcastic manner and not have it be taken the wrong way. For example, if I were to say something outrageous like “Yeah, because Harry Potter is the worst book ever written” online, some people would think I actually mean that HP is poorly written, even with the italics. They would just think I’m emphasizing just how bad HP is, not that I said it in a “no, really?!?” way. If I said it in real life,
everyone most people would know, by the tone of my voice, that I was being sarcastic.
It’s just so hard to convey the idea that you are being sarcastic without a real way to differentiate it from regular text. Yes, italics work, but really only on small phrases. It just becomes confusing when you italicize a whole paragraph because the whole thing is written in a sarcastic manner. And I really don’t feel like writing “Oh, I was being sarcastic” over and over again.
In real life, I’m kind of known for my sarcasm and “sass”. Not so much online because whenever I write stuff, I always feel like it doesn’t translate well. In real life, it can come off as a bit mocking, only all my friends know I don’t mean anything I say, they know not to take any of the sarcasm that comes out of my mouth seriously, and more importantly, they know when I’m being sarcastic. (<-- That is also why italics isn't the best indicator of sarcasm. That last part of the sentence wasn't meant to be sarcastic, I merely italicized it because I wanted to emphasis it.) The problem is I’m usually not downright sarcastic. I’ve been told my sarcasm is more subtle and people usually know I’m being sarcastic by the tone of my voice and my facial expression, both of which you cannot find online. Apparently, my sarcasm can be hard to detect. Because of this, whenever I begin to type something sarcastic, something I might say in real life, whether in a review or in one of these kind of posts, I stop and delete it in fear that someone will be offended and take it the wrong way and that it will reflect poorly on my character. (This problem is even worse on Twitter than it is in blog posts… at least in a post there are some context clues that there’s a chance you’re being sarcastic. With Twitter, not so much.)
Do you have problems expressing sarcasm online?
How do you deal with it?
How do you denote it?