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Sarcasm: we haz it (but sometimez we don't "haz" it)
October 17, 2009 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Perhaps a MeFite-created sarcasm punctuation mark just for MetaFilter?

I know it's been lightly touched on here before, but I haven't seen a MetaTalk discussion devoted entirely to the subject, so here's something I just posted in a thread where I figure the "blah blah no one is reading anymore blah blah" probably applies.

***

We all know that sarcasm, especially well-crafted, dry sarcasm, is often impossible to discern in text. I think a punctuation mark that indicates "this statement is sarcastic," would be quite useful, if only to stave off the inevitable "wtf?" or "I can't tell if you're being serious, but if you are, you're a dick"-type comments.

Since the only language with a punctuation mark that means "sarcasm" uses the same exclamation point used in Spanish to denote EXCLAMATION (though Spanish uses it to bracket the statement with another exclamation point in the inverse position), we really, truly need a new punctuation mark for sarcasm--even if it's only used here on MetaFilter. Can someone suggest one? Should we have a suggestions/vote discussion on MetaTalk? Emoticons just don't cut it (emoticons have become mostly bleh, IMO), and it should work just like a period or question mark or exclamation point as the punctuation mark that ends the sentence.

Example: Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society{\}

***
posted by tzikeh to MetaFilter-Related at 1:02 PM (205 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, that's a greeeeat idea.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:07 PM on October 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


This proposal has my complete support{\}
posted by FfejL at 1:12 PM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


We all know that sarcasm, especially well-crafted, dry sarcasm, is often impossible to discern in text.

It follows that sarcasm that is possible to discern in text, by using a special sarcasm mark for example, is not well-crafted.
posted by ODiV at 1:13 PM on October 17, 2009 [17 favorites]


If we start explicitly marking sarcasm, then unmarked sarcasm could be taken at face value, leading to confusion.

It could be useful for people being assholes ironically to signal that they're being primarily ironic, not assholes, whereas currently they're read as both.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:15 PM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


It could be useful for people being assholes ironically to signal that they're being primarily ironic, not assholes, whereas currently they're read as both.

To be fair, when people are being assholes ironically they are being both. An ironic asshole remark is still an asshole remark.

Please note that I do not exempt myself from this charge.
posted by dersins at 1:21 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is an ironic asshole remark. {*}
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:22 PM on October 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


{\} looks like a hamburger to me.

so i read: "Example: Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society HAMBURGER"
posted by prefpara at 1:27 PM on October 17, 2009 [62 favorites]


Emoticons just don't cut it

But let's come up with an emoticon, or a secret handshake or something anyway. Maybe the best way to deal with this would be to link sarcastic comments directly to goatse.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:29 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I nominate this mackerel for Metafilter's Official Red Herring™: <º>{
posted by kuujjuarapik at 1:30 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I just assume that everything I read on MetaFilter is well-crafted, dry sarcasm. It's what keeps me from killing you all.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:31 PM on October 17, 2009 [64 favorites]


؟ ‽
posted by cj_ at 1:34 PM on October 17, 2009


Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society!

Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society!!1!

Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again using very scientific methods, is a danger to society.

Because, of course, the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society.

Are these not clear enough?
posted by ALongDecember at 1:34 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I propose the following:

.:|[{<>@*,#~~~!~~!!~!!!]"

As the opening tag, and the closing tag should be:

"`"```"@~!]—–-;)::((@))(@)()@!]]))}}}-~!-->:.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:35 PM on October 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


I am in favor of typing the word HAMBURGER in all-caps to indicate sarcasm HAMBURGER
posted by Sys Rq at 1:37 PM on October 17, 2009 [39 favorites]


This doesn't seem like the best-thought-out idea. If you have to explain a joke, it's not a very good joke.

(I'm not being sarcastic. No, really, I'm not. I promise.)
posted by Phire at 1:41 PM on October 17, 2009


but there's already this, known deliciously as the zing.
posted by liketitanic at 1:44 PM on October 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


well, sometimes people already do this with the cutesy "[/sarcasm]", or variant, postscript.

Yes I've done this, I am not proud, but at least it is something I can remember rather than: "damn what is the super sekkert sarcasm markers on metafilter now?"

I get what you are saying, and don't disagree with the desire behind it, but probably the best option is to just ask if it was meant sarcastically and/or don't rise to the bait and/or qualify responses "if that was not meant sarcastically, you are an asshole, if it was... well...[insert dersins comment above]"
posted by edgeways at 1:46 PM on October 17, 2009


Are you asking this seriously or sarcastically? I can't tell.
posted by tula at 1:50 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Doesn't denoting sarcasm as such really sort of undercut the point? Saying "HEY THIS IS MEANT TO BE INTERPRETED ON MULTIPLE LEVELS" ruins the elegance of a statement that is, in fact, meant to be interpreted on multiple levels. The very best sarcasm is only barely discernible as such. Over the top, Eric Foreman style sarcasm is boring and tired. I, for one, like the ambiguity. That's what makes it a neat form of communication. Yeah, without intonation, it can be misunderstood, but sarcasm is misunderstood in real life quite often as well. You gotta consider the context.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:50 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


but there's already this, known deliciously as the zing.

But is it as delicious as a hamburger؟
posted by Sys Rq at 1:52 PM on October 17, 2009


I'm paramisremembraphasing Dave Barry here, but he basically said something like "People used to use ":)" at the end of a sentence when they'd said something that was funny. Now, people think that putting ":)" at the end of a sentence actually MAKES it funny."

Having a marker that says "Nonononono you guys, I was making a joke! See the joke marker? That PROVES it's a joke" is a bad idea.

People need to get better at being sarcastic. People need to get better at identifying sarcasm. People will not get better at these things by using punctuation as sarcasm training wheels.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:57 PM on October 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


If you have to explain the joke, it wasn't told well.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:02 PM on October 17, 2009


Oooh, couldn't we just use that witty and fascinating Zalgo text? That would be fantastic!
posted by Ghidorah at 2:05 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you can't tell it's sarcasm, is it really sarcasm?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2009


.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:10 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've already given up bacon and now you want me to give up sarcasm, too?

Example: Because the vegetarian lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society SOY PROTEIN
posted by contrariwise at 2:17 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's what keeps me from killing you all

It's raining Florence Henderson, and BLOOD.
posted by hellojed at 2:20 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


We have this already with "not xxxx-ist" quips.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:26 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


ALongDecember: You might think so, and I might think so, but on the other hand, consider Poe's law. There is no humorously overstated ironic metafilter comment that couldn't be made in all seriousness by somebody.

If we want an explicit marker, we could do worse than B1FF-style excalamations. It would be the greatest thing EVAR!!!1!11~eleven!HAMBURGER

But sarcasm fails often enough even with markers that I think boringly explicit and sincere writing may actually be our best hope for communicating with each other.
posted by hattifattener at 2:26 PM on October 17, 2009


If you can't tell it's sarcasm, is it really sarcasm?

I find if I put my sarcasm in a bun, rather than between two slices of bread, most people cannot identify it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:30 PM on October 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I will soon post to MetaTalk a proposal that we append a very tiny, unique snowflake to the comments of every member who makes an offbeat MetaTalk post. ❄
posted by killdevil at 2:34 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


w shld pst ll r srcsm dsmvwld
posted by pyramid termite at 2:44 PM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think the inverse bullet would be perfect
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think that marking something as sarcasm erases the sarcastic quality of the comment.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:47 PM on October 17, 2009


Here are some thoughts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2009


Or you could just re-read your comments and make an effort to imagine how they will sound to others before you post them. Maybe the mods could install a button that would do that FOR us?
posted by hermitosis at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2009


Well that sounds like a great idea HAMBURGER

There's absolutely no way it's going to fail HAMBURGER

Thanks for the suggestion anyway NOT-HAMBURGER
posted by panboi at 2:56 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The current mark for this [!] seems perfectly sufficient to me.
posted by ~ at 3:01 PM on October 17, 2009


I would rather have a verse bulletin than an inverse bullet.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:02 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sarcasm involves a certain amount of manipulation and flouting of social rules; you can't systematize it. It's antithetical to the nature of snark, which will now be my new name for something, of that I do not know what.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:15 PM on October 17, 2009


...and I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, w-g p.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 3:16 PM on October 17, 2009


Could we call the chosen symbol the "Jay Leno"?
posted by R. Mutt at 3:16 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd gladly pay you on Tuesday for a HAMBURGER today.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:21 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


/slow clapping
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:22 PM on October 17, 2009


I agree that if you have to explain it, it's not very good sarcasm, but that applies much more to verbal sarcasm than textual. Without facial expression, tone, and all the other markers we have for verbal sarcasm, sarcasm in text is just notoriously difficult to infer--especially on MetaFilter, where it's often a single, sarcastic remark without context.

But thanks for taking my innocent question seriously HAMBURGER

Suddenly I feel like adding HAMBURGER to the end of every sentence--like the fortune cookie "in bed" joke. Or better yet, we could combine them, as I strongly believe that the more I attempt to explain myself, the more likely it is that you will all see the error of your ways IN BED HAMBURGER

As for snowflakes, I am a special snowflake HAMBURGER IN BED!

What does a snowflake hamburger taste like?

{❄}

Mmmmm. Soggy buns IN BED

HAMBURGER
posted by tzikeh at 3:24 PM on October 17, 2009


This is a totally shit idea, and tzikeh you are too chatty and long-winded (well that's what I am thinking right now, IMO, anyways).
posted by Meatbomb at 3:24 PM on October 17, 2009


Is it Ghostbusters 2 ಠ_ಠ
posted by Rhomboid at 3:24 PM on October 17, 2009


But seriously, HAMBURGER? Between the plates of beans, pancakes, mushrooms, taters, pie, off-color Pepsi and those weird tasting chops made of plo, I have already gained 5 pounds since I started commenting regularly. And will the MeFi Sarcasmburger be a Big Mac, a Whopper, an In-N-Out Double-Double or a Wendy's Squareburger? No, wait, it must be an Angus Third-Pounder, because I don't WANT to be exposed to Angus...
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 3:25 PM on October 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Not totally as in "completely awesome" and not shit as in "this is the shit, man". Totally shit as in "large pile of unpleasant things".
posted by Meatbomb at 3:27 PM on October 17, 2009


> They are to me, yes.

Eh. Just a thought. Maybe I wanted to be one of the cool kids, and give birth to a new MetaFilter in-joke IN BED. I should have known better. At least I've now created my first thread on MetaTalk and had it thoroughly snarked, so I've got that going for me LACK OF HAMBURGER IN BED
posted by tzikeh at 3:30 PM on October 17, 2009


If everyone who is trying to be sarcastic appends "HAMBURGER" to the end of their remarks that will probably make me laugh a lot more than sarcasm usually does. I vote yes.
posted by prefpara at 3:39 PM on October 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


This is what the blink tag is for. Seriously. Didn't you even read the FAQ?
posted by klangklangston at 3:39 PM on October 17, 2009


OK Guys I'm glad you're having fun and the HAMBURGER IN BED bit has really ... taken off, but doncha think we should wait to find out if there's actually a hamburger in the bed before we all start cracking jokes?
posted by mannequito at 3:40 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


No!!

Sarcasm is hurtful humor, not helpful humor.

:/
posted by kathrineg at 3:46 PM on October 17, 2009


And what about the people for whom it's a helpless lifelong affliction?
Kids in the Hall sarcastic guy sketch
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:49 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Penis.
posted by trondant at 3:59 PM on October 17, 2009


Anyway, seriously, I have a whole worksheet about humor that brings people together and humor that creates distance and mistrust between people, sarcasm is on that list, so let's think twice before we give it two thumbs up, yes?
posted by kathrineg at 4:00 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this a thread where I can post this Kids in the Hall sketch, which is entirely relevant to the topic on hand?
posted by ~ at 4:01 PM on October 17, 2009


Is a hamburger a sandwich?
posted by jgirl at 4:05 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I trust your worksheet, katherineg. Sarcasm doesn't necessarily produce distrust and distance. (Despite its flesh-ripping etymology.)
posted by hattifattener at 4:09 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


[NOT HAMBURGER-IST]
posted by lazaruslong at 4:10 PM on October 17, 2009


Having proposed on more than one occasion an HTML Sarcasm Tag, <sarcasm>, I am in full support of this idea (which means it is as doomed as a Star Trek crewman in a red shirt... I already killed the 3-minute-edit), and really, there is nothing keeping thusly inclined MeFites from using any of the proposed symbols:

the simple Asterisk * (which is easily keyboard-accessible, in common usage means 'there's more' and therefore 'don't take this at face value', and does physically resemble an asshole which is symbolic*)

Slate's Sarcasm Mark ¡ (which if used only at the end of a sentence should be differentiated from the Spanish-language 'pre-exclamation' and has five years of usage and support behind it¡)

the Irony Mark/Zing ؟ (it has its own wikipedia page؟)

the boxed-in exclamation point [!] (which makes me think of Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"[!])

the special snowflake ❄ (which already has some MeFi history❄)

the dirty-fortune-cookie designator INBED (I suggest allcaps and no space to differentiate from other uses of words 'in bed' INBED)

the tzikeh-proposed hamburger-ish symbol {/} (but NOT the word HAMBURGER, please, seriously{/})

or the emoticon for 'meh' :/ (similar to the hamburger mark but one less keystroke, and much less cholesterol, and dammit, emoticons don't have to be uncool:/)

but probably not the inverse bullet ◘ which could be confused with 'somebody died in a mirror universe' (no good without an evil goatee◘)

and definitely NOT the <blink> tag, unless you want to make the use of sarcasm even more obnoxious and therefore discourage it (Oh, now I get it!)

Ultimately, it is up to those of us who want to use Sarcastic Punctuation (as opposed to Phonetic Punctuation which is totally awesome) to determine what to use and we should not be discouraged by the snark of the MetaFilter Mob*¡[!]❄INBED{/}:/◘
posted by wendell at 4:28 PM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


That people misunderstand sarcasm is a feature, not a bug.
posted by empath at 4:31 PM on October 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Stuart, do you know what the queers are doing to the soil... IN BED?
posted by loquacious at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're in it with the aliens HAMBURGER
posted by Sys Rq at 4:56 PM on October 17, 2009


wait so I have a HAMBURGER question if we are using the HAMBURGER approach can the word HAMBURGER be inserted anywhere into the statement? this could be HAMBURGER fun
posted by mannequito at 5:09 PM on October 17, 2009


I suggest that everyone who wants to make a sarcastic remark on Metafilter should create a sock-puppet account. Then, as soon as they say something sarcastic, they should log into their sock puppet account and reply to the comment with an "I know, right?"
posted by zinfandel at 5:11 PM on October 17, 2009


I know, right?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:18 PM on October 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


While I think some of the fun of sarcasm is its secretiveness, in that people cannot be certain that you are, in fact, being sarcastic, I think this is an awesome idea. I really do.

I really do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:22 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:34 PM on October 17, 2009


I live every week like it's Sarc' Week.
posted by The Deej at 5:34 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


;)
posted by caddis at 5:48 PM on October 17, 2009


why do we have to be special snowflakes?
posted by caddis at 5:48 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another good idea would be for people to not take stuff personally on the internet and if a comment really bugs you you just sort of ignore it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:53 PM on October 17, 2009


Another good idea would be for people to not take stuff personally on the internet and if a comment really bugs you you just sort of ignore it.

OK, now you're really pissing me off!
posted by The Deej at 5:58 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The W3C speaks on the concept.
posted by boo_radley at 5:58 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking this is a no then؟
posted by cjorgensen at 6:01 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sarcasm is hurtful humor, not helpful humor

Only if you're doing it right.

humor that creates distance and mistrust between people, sarcasm is on that list
"Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
-DH
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:05 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another good idea would be for people to not take stuff personally on the internet and if a comment really bugs you you just sort of ignore it.

That's what mental killfiles are for, right?

I would have expected someone to write a Greasemonkey killfile script for the site, but that doesn't seem to exist - and while there are plenty of MeFi scripts over at userscripts.org, only two of them are really popular - one displays deleted posts, and one highlights your own comments. This says something about the MeFi community, I think, but I'm not sure what.
posted by effbot at 6:09 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


there is one, I can't find it though
posted by kathrineg at 6:10 PM on October 17, 2009


I like words that end in "asm".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 PM on October 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


and while there are plenty of MeFi scripts over at userscripts.org, only two of them are really popular - one displays deleted posts, and one highlights your own comments. This says something about the MeFi community, I think, but I'm not sure what.

We want to know everything, to see if people are talking about us and baring that, we'll just look at our nuggets of genius as mom calls from the top of stairs, remind us to take out the garbage and to take a shower sometime this week.

Thanks mom, love you! Hey, spare a few bucks?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on October 17, 2009


"Anyway, seriously, I have a whole worksheet about humor that brings people together and humor that creates distance and mistrust between people, sarcasm is on that list, so let's think twice before we give it two thumbs up, yes?"

"Anything that hurts anyone's feelings is always wrong and bad," he dead-panned.
"That's not what I said," she said.
"Anyway, I had a couple of classes on humor, in high school and college," he said. "Obviously, most of the good parts didn't stick," he murmured aside. "There's a fairly significant body of work on humor that holds that all humor comes from hostility. There's another that holds it all stems from pain. The question, as always, is between competing goods, feelings and freedom. And I'm just not comfortable with the idea of using a worksheet to decide whether what I said was bad feelings hurting humor or good, affirming humor."
"That's not what I said," she said.
"The rub of it is that you at least seem, though you couched it in more tentative terms, you at least seem to want to eradicate sarcasm. You'd probably just say that you think it can be harmful, and you'd like to see less of it. But you do see how someone could interpret you as wanting to eradicate sarcasm, right?"
"Please stop making me a straw man."
"The point is that having a 'whole worksheet' about humor is an earnest thing to say, and it's fine to want to decrease the number of hurt feelings, but sarcasm (and written irony) are here to stay, because they're necessary and… they're like English on four-square balls, where the four-square balls are the conversation, and the spin keeps you paying attention."
"I don't even know if you're serious."
"Kinda."
posted by klangklangston at 6:20 PM on October 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Did you know that the Irish once had laws against satire? It was considered a sort of spoken word magic that could kill people. Poets were respected and feared, because they could let loose a life-destroying utterance of irony at will; they were thought to easy travel between the world, and some of their power came from this.

They didn't use no goddamn irony tags. You don't let somebody know when you're going to kill them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:29 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


But it's my secret power weapon! I can't just announce it.
posted by Eideteker at 6:29 PM on October 17, 2009


That's a lot of dialogue...do you have a handout? Preferably with two columns...?
posted by kathrineg at 6:45 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


)*(
posted by metagnathous at 6:57 PM on October 17, 2009


We all know that sarcasm, especially well-crafted, dry sarcasm, is often impossible to discern in text.

This is kind of ridiculous. People have been using sarcasm in written form for thousands of years. They never needed some kind of iconographic crutch.

If people are constantly misreading your sarcasm there are two possibilities. Either they have poor reading comprehension or your writing isn't as good as you think it is. There is no reason to cater to the former and this won't help the latter, it will simply make it more annoying.
posted by Justinian at 6:59 PM on October 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I just found two identical snowflakes!

Here they are: ❄ ❄

Do I win a prize?
posted by flabdablet at 7:14 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Below are some unicode characters with 6-fold (but not 12-fold) rotational symmetry. Enjoy some variety, copy-n-pasters.

✱ HEAVY ASTERISK
✲ OPEN CENTRE ASTERISK
✶ SIX POINTED BLACK STAR
✻ TEARDROP-SPOKED ASTERISK
✼ OPEN CENTRE TEARDROP-SPOKED ASTERISK
✽ HEAVY TEARDROP-SPOKED ASTERISK
❃ HEAVY TEARDROP-SPOKED PINWHEEL ASTERISK
❄ SNOWFLAKE
❅ TIGHT TRIFOLIATE SNOWFLAKE
❆ HEAVY CHEVRON SNOWFLAKE
❉ BALLOON-SPOKED ASTERISK
posted by ryanrs at 7:33 PM on October 17, 2009 [39 favorites]


tzikeh (btw, I would love the story behind your username sometime), I sort of sympathize but I'd also like to point out that proposing to invent something that happen organically is never likely to go well. See: taters vs hamburgers.
posted by librarylis at 7:38 PM on October 17, 2009


nuts! "that should happen organically"
posted by librarylis at 7:40 PM on October 17, 2009


~ This punctuation mark doesn't get used enough imo. ~
posted by salvia at 8:15 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


MeFiteCreated 1 posts tagged with MetaFilter-ese. (View popular tags)
Displaying 1 through 1 of 1. Subscribe: Posts tagged with MetaFilter-ese

Perhaps a MeFite-created sarcasm punctuation mark just for MetaFilter? [more inside]
posted by tzikeh on Oct 17, 2009 - 93 comments
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:16 PM on October 17, 2009


UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE
posted by birdherder at 8:25 PM on October 17, 2009


I thought the period was the sarcasm punctuation mark in MetaFilter.
posted by mazola at 8:28 PM on October 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Suisocietal Danger! You halve to listen to us! hazmat moar chiken©
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:29 PM on October 17, 2009


HAMBURGERS AND TATERS! SARCASTIC CAT IS SARCASTIC؟
posted by bigmusic at 8:29 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


What we need is LetMeDiagramThatJokeForYou.com
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:50 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


"That's not what I said," she said.

That's what she said. Seriously.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 8:52 PM on October 17, 2009


Good grief. I'm standing right here.
posted by ~ at 8:56 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh good. We can use you then.
posted by salvia at 8:59 PM on October 17, 2009


Interrobang.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:08 PM on October 17, 2009


,,/,

also, while we are at it,
all cases of "you know you else..." should be replaced by loltler:    /:=)
posted by sloe at 9:13 PM on October 17, 2009


All my comments are entirely literal and sincere.
posted by little e at 9:24 PM on October 17, 2009


There's really no use for this because nobody is or ever has been sarcastic about anything or towards anyone on Metafilter so it's probably not a bad idea for you to go all the way back to the beginning and reread every thread ever created and please note this time how different the site is now that you're reading it correctly.
posted by The Straightener at 9:32 PM on October 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


People seriously often ask me if I am being sarcastic. What I imagine they mean to be asking me is am I being disingenuous.
posted by humannaire at 9:53 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


best. callout. ever.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:34 PM on October 17, 2009


Below are some unicode characters with 6-fold (but not 12-fold) rotational symmetry. Enjoy some variety, copy-n-pasters.

Christ, that's a lot of assholes!
posted by loquacious at 10:36 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tsk
posted by kathrineg at 10:37 PM on October 17, 2009


I would have expected someone to write a Greasemonkey killfile script for the site, but that doesn't seem to exist - and while there are plenty of MeFi scripts over at userscripts.org, only two of them are really popular - one displays deleted posts, and one highlights your own comments. This says something about the MeFi community, I think, but I'm not sure what.

As I understand there at least have been killfiles available for mefi previously and they've been considered entirely uncool not just by the mods but by the community at large as well. Also, the two greasemonkey scripts I use are the one for deleted threads and the one that shows people's avatars next to their usernames, which I now would never use the site without, even though the deleted-thread script makes the avatar script go all wonky.

Anyway, the HAMBURGER thing probably won't last for long, the "irony point" is stupid and doomed to failure because it's basically a punctuation mark that few have ever heard of custom-made to allow people to self-identify as hipsters, which hipsters aren't really all that prone to do, and the snowflake bullet, while pretty, discriminates against people like me who have no special, let alone unique, properties.

So here's the thing, usually what we refer to as "sarcasm" is actually the conceit of a "voice" separate from our own. This means that, yes, it can be hard to recognize in print on a huge community website where not everyone is well-known enough to have the conceit voice recognized as divergent from their own. That said, we've already got a couple of ways of handling this for the close calls. One is the [NOT-RACIST] thing, and the other is the "/" deal, such as:

Because the gay lifestyle, as has been proven over and over again, is a danger to society. /homophobia cloaked in concern for societal values

It gets used enough when people aren't sure they'll be read correctly, and if astutely applied, can be funny on it's own, as it's adaptable.

Anyway, that's my suggestion. /semi-drunken late-night rambling on trivial topic
posted by Navelgazer at 11:17 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I prefer to use this: o.O
posted by davejay at 11:23 PM on October 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


if you have to explain sarcasm...
posted by Cranberry at 11:23 PM on October 17, 2009


I'm not being sarcastic. Noooo. This is just a little speech impediment. I can't help it.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:58 PM on October 17, 2009


So I have been trying out this "HAMBURGER" thing and I like it so far, and probably will not get tired of it for a week or two at least.

And I am pleased at the idea that people in future meetups may feel the need to eat compulsory meals of hamburger, beans, taters, pancakes, and pie, with an inhumanly sized glazed donut for desert. Just let's not peer pressure anyone into eating ponies, that's just gross.
posted by idiopath at 12:04 AM on October 18, 2009


I NEED ARBITRARY SYMBOLS TO IMPROVE MY OWN WRITING OR INSTRUCT OTHERS IN HOW TO INTERPRET THE THINGS I WRITE
posted by Mikey-San at 12:06 AM on October 18, 2009


I'm tired of it already and I haven't even seen it outside this thread.

Actually, what I meant to say was, I love this idea. I love little in-jokes that serve to confound and exclude people that aren't in on the joke ؟
posted by cj_ at 12:16 AM on October 18, 2009


I fucking hate memes.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:20 AM on October 18, 2009


The memes don't really like you either.
posted by little e at 12:21 AM on October 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

> As I understand there at least have been killfiles available for mefi previously and they've been considered entirely uncool not just by the mods but by the community at large as well.
Yeah, I'm sure the mods take umbrage at the concept of ignoring someone you have a problem with instead of the usual of thread-stalking and meta callouts.

I think I'm getting used to this whole sarcasm thing!

No really, I would write such a script (it'd be very easy), except there's no one I want to killfile, so the motivation is lacking. I think there's some people that would benefit, but I doubt they'd use it. I suspect that's why you can't find a greasemonkey script to do this. People like arguing with each other. Everyone else loves reading it. So it's a bit of a non-starter.
posted by cj_ at 12:36 AM on October 18, 2009


I think the English language could benefit from a universally-recognized sarcasm punctuation mark. I don't get why some people think there's no use for this.

Sometimes with spoken sarcasm, you make your voice exaggeratedly sarcastic to comically emphasize the sarcasm. Sometimes you don't make it obvious at all.

It's easy to do subtle sarcasm with text, but there's no good way to emphasize the sarcasm. This is why people use the [sarcasm] tag. A sarcasm punctuation mark would just be a smaller version of the tag.

I guess the main objection would be that some think the [sarcasm] tag is lame, on par with emoticons, so why encourage it.
posted by agropyron at 12:53 AM on October 18, 2009


I don't understand how to properly write sarcasm as it is.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:58 AM on October 18, 2009


> I think the English language could benefit from a universally-recognized sarcasm punctuation mark. I don't get why some people think there's no use for this.

Because sarcasm loses it's meaning when you qualify it. If your intent is to be earnest, why state it sarcastically in the first place?
posted by cj_ at 1:19 AM on October 18, 2009


I actually coined a term for such designation of sarcasm- wrytalics.
posted by potch at 1:28 AM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I subtly indicate sarcasm by lower-casing people's names and other proper nouns.

What?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:12 AM on October 18, 2009


Mefites already do the opposite of this by appending "Seriously." to their non-sarcastic statements. Seriously.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:51 AM on October 18, 2009


Maybe we could devise a special punctuation mark to indicate a statement is not sarcastic.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:14 AM on October 18, 2009


Maybe an S in a circle (similar to the copyright symbol), for "Seriously."
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:40 AM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe an S in a circle (similar to the copyright symbol), for "Seriously."

And lo, this symbol is already available to us: ☯.

We can import some of the previous symbolism into this retrofitted yin yang, too: in every sarcasm there is sincerity, and in every sincerity there is sarcasm, etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:06 AM on October 18, 2009


The isolated communicators of cyberspace have already come up with little signs made up of punctuation marks for this purpose:

:-] I AM KIDDING

:-[ I AM SERIOUS

posted by shammack at 7:22 AM on October 18, 2009


Because sarcasm loses it's meaning when you qualify it. If your intent is to be earnest, why state it sarcastically in the first place?

If your sarcasm loses it's meaning if it's obvious to the reader, it seems to me as if the only reason you're using it is to split the readership into two groups - those who get how remarkably clever you are, and those who don't get it, and can therefore be made fun of.

In other words, you're targeting your comments against other members of the site, despite the commenting guideline that says "Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site."

Or is the problem just that the guideline needs a sarcasm marker?

(If not else, that would definitely move it from "prescriptive" territory to "descriptive".)
posted by effbot at 8:28 AM on October 18, 2009


I    like   to    add   nbsp's  which  link  to   goatse   at  the   end  to  indicate  scarcasm  . So   far,  no   one  has   noticed.          
posted by fleacircus at 8:29 AM on October 18, 2009


Jessamyn on killfiles.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:04 AM on October 18, 2009


Did a terrestrial mod chime in on this yet? I think if your sarcasm is being mistaken for sincerity you're probably doing it wrong. We had to basically craft a guideline against ironic racism/sexism because too many people were tossing odd comments into threads thinking they were being hilarious while neglecting the possibility that someone might read their words at face value and be hurt and/or offended by them, thus starting off a "what did you mean by THAT" derail. I mean some people don't care if this exchange is a by-product of their jokes, but some do.

In a community created entirely with words, you'd think people would be a little better at finding their own ways to make it clear that they're not actually making fun of gay people/women/disabled folks or what have you, but it's probably one of the most frequent misunderstandings here. So, when faced with the options of 1) a sarcasm indicator which would then just start being used sarcastically 2) a sincere effort at communication which might necessitate a little less sarcasm I'm all for #2. Then again, I have trouble with sarcasm so this may be my own self-preservation talking since I like to understand jokes when I can.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:09 AM on October 18, 2009


Because sarcasm loses it's meaning when you qualify it. If your intent is to be earnest, why state it sarcastically in the first place?

This is clearly not the case. Otherwise, people would never exaggerate the sarcasm in their voice for comic effect. It's easy to imagine a sentence that would sound sincere or sarcastic, depending on the way it is spoken.
posted by agropyron at 10:19 AM on October 18, 2009


What about sarcasm that doesn't include being an ironic hater?
posted by kathrineg at 11:50 AM on October 18, 2009


Because sarcasm loses it's meaning when you qualify it. If your intent is to be earnest, why state it sarcastically in the first place?

Depending on the sentence, it's so you can seem super-clever and awesome and witty and snarky and it is so sad that people get alienated by my intelligence and awesome wit, come back let me make a comment about how I love your haircut sooooooooooo much
posted by kathrineg at 11:53 AM on October 18, 2009


Why not simply ask someone if they are being sarcastic? If you're not sure, wouldn't that be the simplest solution?
posted by zarq at 2:06 PM on October 18, 2009


Are you being sarcastic, zarq? :^&
posted by not_on_display at 2:15 PM on October 18, 2009


Hey did you all hear? Some 10-year old YT rap star built a UFO out of Weather Channel promo balloons and they are trying to shoot him down over Denver International!

It's LIVE RIGHT NOW over at MeFi!!
posted by humannaire at 2:42 PM on October 18, 2009


Oh and...

<>HAMBURGER IS SO HERE TO STAY TOO<>
posted by humannaire at 2:45 PM on October 18, 2009


blink blink
posted by humannaire at 2:46 PM on October 18, 2009


I would like to take this opportunity to formally retract my earlier endorsement of sarcasm indicated with the word HAMBURGER in all-caps. It is really quite annoying.

Mods, please feel free to HAMBURGLE any and all instances of this pernicious blight.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:37 PM on October 18, 2009


Okay, what we all have to do is write "ZOMG BONERS" at the end of all our comments when we're being serious (because all caps is serious) and "zomg boners" when we're being sarcastic. Then we all just have to ignore any comment that has neither appended to them. I think we'd find that the level of discourse on the site would improve markedly.

ZOMG BONERS
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 4:41 PM on October 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Since this thread is over I would just like to say that I'm being very fitey and I don't know why :(
posted by Justinian at 4:45 PM on October 18, 2009


I actually love the notion of drawing attention to sarcasm with a special feature.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:09 PM on October 18, 2009


Since the actual words in a sarcastic response don't matter, I hereby decree that a comment consisting solely of a full-stop shall indicate a sarcastic and contemptuous response to the comment preceding it. Somebody edit the Wiki and we can close this up now.
posted by nowonmai at 5:20 PM on October 18, 2009


Sarcastic cat can haz cheezburger HAMBURGER
posted by qvantamon at 6:40 PM on October 18, 2009


Are you being sarcastic, zarq? :^&

No.
posted by zarq at 6:53 PM on October 18, 2009


LETS ALL EAT A HAMBURGER
posted by Greg Nog at 6:55 PM on October 18, 2009


.
posted by speicus at 7:27 PM on October 18, 2009


Hooray for sarcasm & irony!

I don't even know if I'm being sarcastic right now. HAMBURGER
posted by Pronoiac at 7:40 PM on October 18, 2009


Now that I think about it, it might be useful to anthropomorphize all of our food items. BEANS.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:52 PM on October 18, 2009


this thread kinda makes me want to puke with all the random contextless food
posted by kathrineg at 7:57 PM on October 18, 2009


Now that I think about it, it might be useful to anthropomorphize all of our food items. BEANS.

BEANS IS PEOPLE!!!1!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:58 PM on October 18, 2009


What's wrong with the /s?

I mean, I guess it can't be truncated to a single unicode character that easily, since it'd look somewhat similar to the dollar sign, but at the same time, it's small, easy to use, and understood outside of Metafilter. Oh wait, I guess that last one is actually a con. HAMBURGER Still, I feel like it's awkward to use the curly brace twice to end a sentence. You have to use a character non-programmers rarely use, and it requires you to use the shift key. Let it be known I favor the bracket-burger ([/]) instead, as it still looks burgerish, but it requires less energy.

Still, I feel like sometimes, sarcasm is worth more when it's veiled, especially if you're trying to channel Tom Swift and freak people you disagree with out. So, I say only use it when you're worried you'll freak out your friends or employer and it isn't obvious.

Furthermore, I propose we write out a clear declaration on when to use it and when not to use it. Consider the woeful case of the semicolon, who most students are taught to fear and avoid with all their hearts if only because nobody really knows what it's for. Let's try to make the hamburger the exclamation point, or at least the ampersand, of punctuation 2.0.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:01 PM on October 18, 2009


{\Maybe we should go all Java on this and place the sarcasm inside curly braces, so that we know where it begins and ends. This may make for overloaded hamburgers, but people need to be warned of oncoming sarcasm./}
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:04 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


it is incredibly clear when the semicolon should and should not be used. vonnegut hates it and that's why the new generation of overly-aspiring-to-be-as-cool-as-vonnegut-ites avoids it and they pass that along to people who have no idea of its origins until it's the crystal boycott of '08 all over again. some people thought that high school english was crap (often it was) and they never learned the semicolon, but to fear it, it's like fearing the word "cell" or the color green. if any punctuation mark is to be feared and avoided it is the comma.

to be fair, stephen king hates the semicolon too.
posted by kathrineg at 8:08 PM on October 18, 2009


and by crystal I mean cristal. see how these things get distorted when they are passed along to the less culturally savvy among us?
posted by kathrineg at 8:09 PM on October 18, 2009


If in doubt as to whether a comment is sarcastic, read it aloud in the comic book guy voice. MEAT CAT.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:22 PM on October 18, 2009


Conversely, if in doubt as to whether a comment is boring or obscure, picture it in a Caspar Milquetoast thought bubble. MILK & TOAST
posted by iamkimiam at 9:36 PM on October 18, 2009


I actually love the notion of drawing attention to sarcasm with a special feature.

what are you some kind of sociolinguist
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:39 PM on October 18, 2009


i am what i am
posted by iamkimiam at 10:20 PM on October 18, 2009


kim?
posted by dersins at 12:03 AM on October 19, 2009


no. popeye.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:19 AM on October 19, 2009


Me no pop I. You no Olive Oyl.
posted by klangklangston at 12:22 AM on October 19, 2009


I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for sarcasm today HAMBURGER.
posted by idiopath at 12:45 AM on October 19, 2009


Hey, who you calling "Tuesday"?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:42 AM on October 19, 2009


Dibs on the sarcasm of tomorrow! OLIVE OIL
posted by iamkimiam at 7:38 AM on October 19, 2009


.
posted by slogger at 7:43 AM on October 19, 2009


In the 50s they promised the sarcasm of tomorrow would be an option on those flying cars. ⁂
posted by Rhomboid at 8:10 AM on October 19, 2009


Hamburger!

No, wait. Pie!
posted by rand at 8:42 AM on October 19, 2009


I have a Quaker parrot who I taught to say "Chip" when he wanted a treat. As it happens, "Chip" is pretty close to the chirp sound he makes when he is happy and as a result he tends to sit there with his goldfish cracker or Sunchip and excitedly say "Chip... Chip... Chip" as he snacks.

This struck me funny, because it would be the equivalent of me sitting in a restaurant shouting Hamburger! Hamburger! as I ate.

And this of course led to me sitting outside of his cage, holding a treat, and desperately trying to get him to say "Hamburger" when he wants to eat. I've been working on this for about a year. Thus far, he just looks at me like I'm an idiot, and now if he ever does say it, I'll just assume he's being sarcastic.

Thanks a lot metafilter.
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on October 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


This struck me funny, because it would be the equivalent of me sitting in a restaurant shouting Hamburger! Hamburger! as I ate.

That right there is raw material for an excellent short film.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's so funny, because as I was reading this, I was yelling "META...META...META"
posted by iamkimiam at 11:24 AM on October 19, 2009


Malkovich. Malkovich Malkovich? Malkovich. Malkovich! Malkovich, Malkovich Malkovich?
posted by Rhomboid at 11:32 AM on October 19, 2009


I just saw this in the wild.

So stupid.
posted by smackfu at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2009


I'm glad to see this thread is still getting posts. o.O
posted by davejay at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2009


I just saw this in the wild.

Like...on the subway?
posted by kathrineg at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2009


No, the Serengeti. Where HAMBURGER roams freely.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:45 PM on October 19, 2009


Similarly, the US Government should mandate all foreshadowing and key quotations in classic literature be underlined and italicized.
posted by cgomez at 3:02 PM on October 19, 2009


Er, where HAMBURGER roams unmoderated.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:05 PM on October 19, 2009


cgomez, committee meetings on the subject are still ongoing, but I can tell you that the current proposed draft standard is to introduce a postfix of "dun dun DUNNNNNN..." for such material.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on October 19, 2009


Those damn nanny-state socialists are at it again, this time with our literature. NO AMNESTY
posted by Rhomboid at 3:20 PM on October 19, 2009


I've lost track, does "NO AMNESTY" mean "ragey hyperbole" or "said while belching"?
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on October 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


{\\\\\\} BARBERSHOP
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:00 PM on October 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think the syntax can just be:

{foo} BAR at the end fo any sentence, that way you can impart whatever additional flavor you want to add to your sarcasm through clever punning and ascii art.
posted by empath at 6:16 PM on October 19, 2009


For example - in the TSA thread:

I can see that a lot of mefites would have made Good Germans { :-=( } WIENERSCHNITZEL
posted by empath at 6:19 PM on October 19, 2009


Eine Bratwurst mit Senf und ein Schultheiss, bitte.
posted by flabdablet at 6:42 PM on October 19, 2009


(|] hamburger
({|] cheeseburger
[{|] patty melt
({|{|] double double
(|]|}] big mac
(@|] chiliburger
(/|] baconburger
(%|}] carl's jr. western bacon cheeseburger (with onion rings)
(O|}] carl's jr. teriyaki burger (with a pineapple ring)

\\||// fries
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 3:48 AM on October 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Beetroot?
posted by flabdablet at 4:51 AM on October 20, 2009


The only thing I really want out of life is one hundred HAMBURGERS and forty-five bottles of ketchup... I had a HAMBURGER dream... I ate them up in one. big. bite.
posted by not_on_display at 8:54 AM on October 20, 2009


Beetroot?

No, Australia! Bad Australia!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2009


TO THINE OWN SELF BEETROOT
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:28 AM on October 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


I would just like to chime in and say that the {/} / HAMBURGER trend is orders of magnitudes more annoying than even the "taters" trend.

In every thread on the blue for the last few days, this proposal has to be explained, and linked to, and then explained again multiple times. While some snarky/sarcastic comments may need to be explained, in practice, this is not the solution.
posted by clearly at 11:31 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I had a half-baked idea that the ridiculousness of ungrammatically appending "HAMBURGER" to the end of a statement would be analogous to the performance of sarcasm where one uses a comically uncharacteristic tone. In retrospect, though this seemed straightforward, it was not understood in that way. If metafilter supported it, using an absurd font would probably be a better analog.
posted by idiopath at 11:48 AM on October 20, 2009


How about if we tag sarcasm with rainbow blinking marquee text and an animated gif of a clown car.
posted by empath at 11:55 AM on October 20, 2009


Sarcasm lost us the font tag. I think this time mathowie would be justified in taking away HAMBURGER.
posted by tellurian at 5:07 PM on October 20, 2009


Make it stop
posted by smackfu at 8:46 PM on October 20, 2009


yes, please make it stop, because I am a vegetarian and it is insulting my delicate sensibilities

seriously though quit it
posted by kathrineg at 8:48 PM on October 20, 2009


LEAK INTO PRODUCTION SITE
IMMEDIATE CLEANUP REQUIRED

[not beetroot-ist]
posted by flabdablet at 5:09 PM on October 23, 2009


Can someone make a little vaccine graphic? we can use that instead of hamburgers, because everyone on meta loves vaccines
posted by NoraReed at 2:09 PM on October 27, 2009


Just a note - I didn't ask because, as a few of you have stated above, "I'm doing it wrong" (i.e. I wasn't talking about MeFites not understanding my sarcastic comments specifically). It just seemed to me that some folks on MeFi in general can wind up going on diatribes in response to comments that they don't realize are sarcastic, and it makes me feel bad for the responses they inevitably get.

Also re: trying to start up a meme on purpose. Sure, as I said earlier, it would have been kind of cool to create a MetaFilter meme, but that wasn't my primary impetus. Besides, prefpara was the one who came up with HAMBURGER; I was just looking for punctuation.

Eh.
posted by tzikeh at 12:00 AM on November 12, 2009


I am just looking for punctuation...what is all this?
fred
posted by tellurian at 2:26 PM on November 12, 2009


HAMBURGER
posted by matildaben at 11:21 AM on November 16, 2009


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