Sarcasm tags

As a note to my readers: When I’m being sarcastic, I usually use sarcasm tags. I’ll always put a closing tag when I’m done being sarcastic, but if I feel it ruins the joke to give away that I’m being sarcastic, I sometimes won’t put one at the start. But I almost always use them.


Because I’m shite at parsing sarcasm, and it’s not hard for me to realize that others might have that issue, too, and there’s only so many times that I take something seriously that’s supposed to be sarcastic before I start wishing for real-life sarcasm tags. Since I can’t make meatspace sarcasm tags happen, I’ll just do my best to make virtual sarcasm tags happen. Because it’s so freaking great to not have to guess and wonder and ponder and analyze and re-analyze and re-re-analyze and etc before I decide that Person is…. probably sarcastic? 

And then I find out I’m wrong and they actually meant that and then it gets awkward. Or if they were being sarcastic and I parsed them as serious, it can get awkward, too.

Sarcasm tags eliminate that. They are awesome and should be used in meatspace. Except I’m not really sure how you’d do that? Saying, “Asterisk forward slash sarcasm asterisk” seems awkward. Hm.

Anyone have any ideas on a meatspace sarcasm tag? How would you make that happen?

7 thoughts on “Sarcasm tags

  1. notesoncrazy says:

    I don’t know, that’s a good point. I’ve seen sarcasm fonts (, sarcasm tags (like html closing tags, which is I think what you’re describing), sarcasm punctuation ( and I think a few other things for text and the web, but nothing for IRL.

    The font and the punctuation actually bug me a lot for some reason. Maybe because they are just so impractical and lack universal application, usage, or understanding. The TAG on the other hand I really like, because when you get good at using it (and I agree about sometimes only putting it at the end so as not to kill the joke) you 1) state your tone/intention for those who might not catch it, 2) can really make the joke even better than with sarcasm alone since the html style closing tag usually comes off as a little snide (in a good way) in plain text, and 3) do NOT sound condescending or like you are talking down to anyone who didn’t pick up on the sarcasm automatically…it’s just playful.

    I can’t think of an IRL way to do #1 that can do #2 and #3 too. And #2 seems optional, but I think #3 is critical. It’s pretty clear that you want a way to aid communication, not to make the listener self-conscious for not getting the joke. But for some reason when you [generally, not you specifically] say something out loud addressing the sarcasm…it just comes off wrong.

    I’d definitely be interested in hearing if you come up with anything else around this issue. There has to be a solution somewhere! In the meantime, thanks for being clear in-text on your blog. I have tried that, but I have found that I don’t actually know when I’m being sarcastic, and when I just guess I end up tagging 2/3 sentences with ! Not the goal, haha.

    • ischemgeek says:

      I’m more fond of the tags than I am of fonts or punctuation. I don’t like new punctuation because, well, it bugs me – I think it might have to do with the very rules-based way I learned how to write. New punctuation would feel like a break of the punctuation rules I learned, which is bad.

      I don’t like random font changes because I find them aesthetically unpleasant. Likewise, sudden color changes in a document throw me off, and sometimes the contrast a sudden font color change creates is painful (anyone who likes pink-on-purple, purple-on-pink, pink-on-green, or pink-on-white makes my eyes want to explode) so color-coded sarcasm wouldn’t work for me either.

      Tags are easier, and they are kind of a type of geek humor, and I like geek humor. So I use tags. I won’t knock the other methods if the work for other people… but not gonna lie, I probably won’t read blogs that use them unless the writing is stellar because they would bug me too much. Then again, I imagine others view sarcasm tags the same way.

  2. notesoncrazy says:

    Hmm, there was supposed to be a sarcasm tag before that “!” but WP rejected it, even though I commented it out. Weird. Anyway, you get the drift I hope.

  3. Alana says:

    Ooh! I LIKE THAT! I hadn’t thought of that as an option (usually I just end up with an awkward explanation that I am being sarcastic thrown into random places).

    • ischemgeek says:

      heheh. I picked it up from a forum I frequent, and I ❤ in-text sarcasm tags. I imagine that body language acts as a sort of meatspace sarcasm tag to allistic people, but I wish there was an actual sarcasm tag thing for meatspace interaction. Dunno what would feel natural, though.

      • ischemgeek says:

        … why, yes, WordPress, I am quite aware that I responded to a comment on my own blog. 😛

      • autisticook says:

        Or you could say,

        …Thank you WordPress, I wasn’t aware that I responded to a comment on my own blog .

        Couldn’t resist, sorry. 😛

        I like the sarcasm tag. I’ve also seen it used as [/sarcasm], which works just as well.

        In meatspace, I’m struggling. I usually convey my own sarcasm as very overdone and exaggerated intonation, which seems to work most of the time but fails on Nattily’s point 3. Sometimes embarrassingly so. So I’m not sure. I think you’re right about the body language being a major factor. So we will need to find a workaround. Finger quotes sometimes seem to be used as well but those seem to be regarded as outmoded now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s