Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

The Snark Mark

Ran across an interesting article on the Grammarly blog this morning, “Introducing the Snark Mark and Why You Should Use it,” by Stephanie Katz. In it, Ms. Katz propses using a period followed by a tilde (“.~”, created around 2007 by American typographer Choz Cunningham) at sentence end to indicate when one is being sarcastic online.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I can see where it would be useful, given the opportunities online for miscommunication due to lack of the cues we pick up in real life conversations. On the other hand, I’m not sure that it would catch on. For one thing, many folks these days seem to have enough trouble using one punctuation mark correctly. For another, a part of online communication seems to rely on shortening things to their bare minimum, especially on venues like Twitter. Adding a new punctuation mark – especially a two-stroke one – would take up valuable space.

Still, the article is food for thought, and I’d love to know what you all think.

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