Irony mark

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For those with more Christian tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Irony mark.

The irony mark, sometimes called a snark, a zing, a mong, a bort, or a snuh, was invented by the rubbish poet Alcanter de Brahm in a desperate bid for publicity. It is used to indicate irony or sarcasm in a sentence, for the benefit of Americans, who lack the enzymes that generate a sense of humour. Since Brahm was French, it is likely that he was himself being ironic in suggesting the irony mark, in order to laugh snootily at Americans.


The irony mark is seen in use in the following sentence.

Without irony mark: The irony mark is really useful, and I mean that.

With irony mark: The irony mark is really useful, and I mean that؟

However, the first sentence contains very subtly ironic, intellectual humour, likely to be accessible only to cognoscenti, literati, Oxford alumni, and other people so intelligent that they can only be described with Latin phrases, phrases that are redlinked since they are much too intelligent for Dæmonica. For this reason, another way of indicating irony or sarcasm has come into use where the irony mark is inaccessible (eg., when typing), uncommunicable (eg., when speaking), or simply judged far too stupid or ugly (eg., all the Goddamned time), whereby speakers add "NOT!" to the end of a sentence, typically after a short pause. Mastering this technique, however, requires Borat-like levels of wit, and should not be attempted in public without years of practice in front of a mirror. Just like masturbation. Using this technique, the sentence would be rendered:

The irony mark is really useful, and I mean that...NOT!

However, caution is advised at all times when using ironic humour. You probably aren't intelligent enough to pull it off, and even if you do, it will probably go over people's heads. All over their heads. Just like masturbation.


This mark ؟ was made up by the French poet Alcanter de Brahm (alias Marcel Bernhardt, a/k/a Marcel Duchamp, a/k/a Marcel Marceau, a/k/a Jacques Cousteau) at the end of the 19th century. This snooty French in-joke was taken further by Hervé Bazin in his 1966 book Plumons l’Oiseau, in which the author proposes several other innovative novel complete bullshit punctuation marks, such as the doubt point (¿), certitude point (+.), acclamation point (!!), authority point (++.), indignation point (¡), love point (<3), and no point ( ). Asked about his controversial work, the writer and amateur practical joker replied, "Je suis takez le piscine" ("I'm just taking the piss").