When sarcasm is the desired effect, perhaps a disclaimer should be issued along with the written entry. Sorta like a product warning label stating the obvious: Don’t drink bleach.
But if a writer has to state outright that sarcasm is the tone of a message, it detracts from the whole endeavor: kinda like attaching a note to the outside of a birthday present announcing the contents. An accompanying sarcasm disclaimer signifies that the message was ineffective and it is the either the fault of the writer, or it means that the audience is sarcasm-challenged.
Maybe a combination of the two Probably the latter.
Regarding the matter of my recent UAPSA titled, Boycott Owl Jones, I believe 99% of the audience picked up on the sarcasm (including Owl Jones himself). Perhaps 1% of the Planet did not. Because of that, and because I take my journalistic responsibilities very seriously, I have issued this official press statement:
The Unaccomplished Angler
wishes to apologizedid not mean any harm toward Mr. Owl Jones. While neon green text on a black background may in fact cause eye strain, visiting Owljones.com is not the cause of my deteriorating eyesight. It happens to men my age. I officially apologize to Mr. Jones forIf there were any web traffic slowdowns caused by what was clearly a sarcastic blog entry, it is merely a regrettable circumstance. So if you’re really boycotting Owljones.com because of what was said on the Unaccomplished Angler, it’s disturbing that you would place that much credence in anything I would say.
I was thinking that there should be some sort of internet technology designed to reduce the chances of a written word being taken out of context without having to resort to the use of cute little smiley faces, which to me are personally troubling (I’ve been told that I’m not in touch with my emoticons). Perhaps someone can develop a Sarcasm Detection Plugin? While we wait for that technology, the matter of Owl’s eye-strain-invoking website has in fact been remedied.
But don’t take my word for it–click on over to Owljones.com and see for yourself. It’s safe to go back in the water.