huh, interesting

temherte slaq

Posted in Uncategorized by huhinteresting on February 11, 2010

In some ethiopic languages there is a punctuation mark called the temherte slaq that serves to denote sarcasm at the end of a sentence. now i don’t know anything about the structure in ethiopic languages, but the idea of a sarcasm mark is  … huh, interesting.

According to the document, Roadmap to Extension of the Ethiopic Writing System Standard Under Writing Code ISO-10646:

“Graphically indistinguishable from U+00A1 (R) Temherte Slaq differs in semantic use in Ethiopia. Temherte Slaq will come at the end of a sentence (vs at the beginning in Spanish use) and is used to indicate an unrealphrase, often sarcastical in editorial cartoons. Temherte Slaq is also important in children‘s literature and inpoetic use. Debate is needed among Ethiopian scholars to determine if inverted exclamation mark is acceptable.”

John Greenman jokingly talked about introducing a sarcasm symbol in a 2004 Slate article, A Giant Step Forward to Punctuation, which uses symbol very effectively to highlight how destructive (and annoying) the pervasive injection of sarcasm is in communication. It’s a good read.

There was a proposed punctuation mark called the irony mark in France, but it was (shockingly *insert sarcasm mark here*) not accepted into proper usage, nor did it take off unofficially.

Just some things to pontificate over …


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