UPDATE: Terrific video added to the story. Thanks, Mary!
Despite a warning from an English professor—that sarcasm is a crutch for the stupid, or something—I employ sarcasm every day.
I’m something of a sarcasm connoisseur, a trait I believe I picked up from my father, who constantly told me, “No one likes a smart ass, Michael,” before saying something like, “Oh yeah, I’d love to take you to the toy store.” I was a confused child.
But using sarcasm in your writing can be tricky, especially when you’re writing for a business audience. Most people, I assume, avoid it altogether—unless, of course, there was a special font for it.
Imagine if you wrote a company e-mail that said: “Remember to turn in your billing for the month. I know all of you love doing that on a Friday.” The people unable to pick up sarcasm might think a) I do love entering that information each month, or b) What a jerk. Could that guy kiss the boss’s ass any more? This is why I hate the corporate communications department.
Now you could always use italics, a popular way to denote sarcasm. Now that line looks like this: “Remember to turn in your billing for the month. I know all of you love doing that on Friday.” Some people may now see the sarcasm—or just assume you think they really do love that task.
What if, instead of this ambiguity, there was a font for sarcasm? What would it look like? Or, what if we just designated one particular font as the sarcasm font, like , for instance?
Turns out there’s actually a movement for this, called, you guessed it, the Sarcastic Font movement. This Web site suggests people use backward italics (which I can’t figure how to do)—because the people behind this movement clearly have a lot going on.