Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sarcasm marks

We have a question mark (?) to show a rise in the tone of someone's voice at the end of a sentence, which makes it question-like.

We have an exclamation mark (!) to show a loudly-spoken sentence or one with exclamation or surprise. Usually these sentences [ended in !] are louder than usual sentences, to show surprise or that the speaker did not expect something, or they need to get something said quickly (as for why the human voice gets louder when the speaker is in danger/worried/scared, we must look back to the origins of mankind for that. Though I don't know exactly, it is probably something to do with hunting instincts or coming across predators).

So what if you want to express sarcasm? Well, that's where today's writers have to let you work out where sarcasm happens.

Yet suffer no more! I think there should be a sarcasm mark, or part of punctuation which shows sarcasm, instead of the funny way which is just using mock-HTML tags:

Well of course I'm stupid.

Hows about something like the exclamation or question mark?
 I started by editing an exclamation mark, with 'swooshes' to show smooth irony and sarcasm.

Then I carried out my original idea, to have a curvy body to an exclamation mark, to show a lack of solid insult/statement, as if it were not completely 'meant'.
But the problem with the exclamation mark-type sarcasm showing is that you don't know completely which part is intended in sarcasm: it could end a sentence which contains various clauses, and not all of those clauses are intended in sarcasm. So why not show sarcasm like we did before with the HTML tags? Why not as a set of 'speech marks'? So I tried out a couple of ideas and this (above, beautifully modeled by the 'a') is what I came out with. Sure, I might refine the design, and I'll let you know when I do. The idea for the top-left + bottom-right layout is from some Danish speech marks:


Which are also used in German, though in Danish you can also use:


Thank you and goodnight.

Oh and Jimmy McGee.

1 comment:

Luke said...

About the whole ?/! Thing Mr Padfield (woo) told us that abnormalities (I.e. Short sentences, loud sentences etc.) in speech make them stand out meaning you can communicate your suprise etc. to other people (perhaps useful ages ago whilst being pounded by a velociraptor).