Do you write snark? READ THIS.

Let me be blunt, for the benefit of future researchers and academicians yet unborn: MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT IS THE REAL-LIFE EVENT YOU ARE SPECIFICALLY SNARKING ABOUT.  I understand that there is an intermittent vogue for parody articles and posts that straight-face their way throughout. I may even have written a post or two like that in the past. But: there is no excuse for not providing an explanatory footnote.

What’s that? “It spoils the joke?”  Bless your heart. The joke wasn’t all that funny when it was fresh, ladies and gentlemen. I’mdsorry to say this, only I’m not: it’s statistically likely that any particular parody was and is actually not all that good.  And snark very rarely ages well. Think of the poor researchers a hundred years from now; nay, think of the poor researchers four months from now, who will come across a particular piece of snark and say “Wait!  Just which piece of fairly tedious, half-amusing, heavy-handed sneering is supposed to be the punchline?  What was the context? Is there context? How am I supposed to refine this down to something that can be used in a thesis?”

So. Source your snark.

Moe Lane

PS: This is meta-snark designed to serve as the centerpiece to a 22st-century grad student looking to mine this period’s literary movements.


  • Drinky Squirrel says:

    Never could understand why I was meant to “appreciate” the mad skills of Jonathan Swift in, for example, that stupid essay about eating children.

  • Aetius451AD says:

    What in particular set this off, Moe? Revenge is a dish best served by having others point and laugh at it.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      It was something that literally wasn’t worth linking to; I was just there randomly with regard to something else, and the article in question caught my eye. I spent enough time scratching my head and trying to figure out what the original outrage was supposed to be about that I figured I could get a post out of it. 🙂

  • Luke says:

    One problem: over the last couple of decades, sarcasm has become so ingrained into my being that I can rarely tell when I’m employing it.

  • Aetius451AD says:

    There was a story told by James Lileks on one of his Diner podcasts. A guy had been writing a sarcastic version of the Bleat (Lilek’s blog.) Except it was written so straight, people came up to Lileks and said that they had seen his column in such and such paper (one that he had not written for.)

    Sometimes dry sarcasm crosses the border from snark to homage.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com