In a move that sadly comes too late to save the Washington Post's "Mouthpiece Theatre," a Michigan company has developed software that will allow you to deploy a sarcasm emoticon, for some reason.
The software that allows users to type a "SarcMark," designed by Sarcasm, Inc., retails for $1.99. In a release, the company describes how the SarcMark will fill an important punctuation void, that I'd bet you didn't know existed.
Statements have the period. Questions have the question mark. Exclamations have the exclamation mark. When you see the newest punctuation mark for sarcasm, you'll know the writer of that sentence doesn't literally mean what they're writing; they're being sarcastic.
I guess this means that hopes have dimmed on the previous offering in the field of sarcasm punctuation: Josh Greenman's 2004 suggestion that sarcasm be indicated by an upside-down exclamation point.
The company even has a commercial, which tends to indicate that the mark is designed to be foisted upon people indiscriminately.
Still, one wonders if it wouldn't have been simpler to give the Internet an emoticon that denotes sincerity, which would probably be a much more rarely utilized device.
Now, if only we could find some way to provide succor to the millions of Americans who suffer from speech impediments that make everything they say sound sarcastic.