It’s a sad fact of life in this business (that is, the business of unusual punctuation marks) that many a promising mark has gone the way of the dodo. The SarcMark©, for instance, was a veritable punctuational mayfly; Paul Mathis’ attempt to rebrand ‘the’ as ‘Ћ’ was over almost as soon as it had begun; and so on, and so forth. The archives of this blog are littered with the corpses of failed innovations.
A short entry today, I’m afraid. I’m in the middle of responding to the copy-edited Shady Characters manuscript (you’ll be glad to hear that there are relatively few punctuation-related corrections), so things will have to be necessarily brief!
Ironics notwithstanding, the irony mark lay dormant for much of the latter part of the 20th century. As had been the case with many other previously obscure marks of punctuation, however, the click-to-publish ease of the web well and truly resusitated its fortunes: more new irony marks appeared in the decade from 2001 to 2010 than in any period before.
I’m afraid the third article in the series on irony and sarcasm marks will have to be be delayed until next weekend. I’ll be discussing modern irony and sarcasm marks — chiefly those which have been proposed and promoted via the Internet — but unfortunately I’m having trouble reaching the creators of the SarcMark. If any Shady Characters readers have had any success in contacting them in the past, it would be great if you could put me in touch with them!