we live in exciting times. the cyber-revolution has changed the way we interact with the world, and with each other. unfortunately, it has also presented us with a host of new challenges. chief among these challenges is the difficulty of conveying sarcasm in emails.
i ask you this: who among us hasn't been sucked into a tedious and time-consuming conversation with a significant other, a family member, or the secret service over whether or not we actually meant what we said in an email? i don't have time for that shit. do you? i thought not.
we aren't alone, either. in the world of internet forums and discussion boards, which are arguably frequented by some of the most sarcastic people on the planet, this ambiguity is a serious problem. at the very least, it bogs down the comments with people explaining that what they just said was or was not sarcastic. worse, though, is the comment that doesn't include such an addendum, leaving the rest of us confused about the author's true meaning ("does he really think she's ugly? is something wrong with me?"). here's a real life example: on YouTube today i watched a video called "mixed reality interface," and it's basically a demonstration of a new virtual reality type technology. below the video, people can post their comments and insights about they've just seen. here are some select quotes:
"hey that's just like my computer"
"woah, now i can be like god."
"do i sense a hint of sarcasm anwhere? it's hard to tell"
"amazing. this technology will revolutionize the toddler gaming industry. also sarcasm."
"How useless is that? And, we know that the invention of the mouse had *no* effect on the development and evolution of computers and software. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)"
i think you see the problem.
recently, i had the privilege of taking part in an elite think tank session on how to resolve this pressing issue. those present included myself, renowned theoritician Jennifer Givens, eccentric genius Katy Shrum, and everybody's favorite child prodigy, William "Willie Boy" Hendricks.
over the course of four and a half grueling minutes, our team brainstormed and debated until we finally reached a solution. are you ready for it?
that's right, the little squiggly line (~) above the tab key is finally going to start carrying it's weight around the keyboard. sure it has some unique duties, but in the United States mostly all it does is lay around, looking cool and chatting up that sexy "at symbol" a couple of doors down. well, get ready tilda - you're going to work.
here's the idea: next time you feel like a sarcastic comment or sentence might accidentally be taken sincerely, simply end the sentence with a single tilda mark as punctuation. let's try it out, shall we?
that fanny pack is soooooo hot~
brilliant. now you try.