The latest issue of Wired has a history of emoticons and smileys.  There were some very interesting bits, including some I’d read before, but my favorite was a proposal by Ambrose Bierce in 1887.

Ambrose Bierce wanted to reform the English language, of course, to make it simpler and clearer.  Just how many attempts to reform English have there been?  I know Teddy Roosevelt was a fan of one such attempt; it was mentioned in the biography I read in high school that he always used the “simplified” spellings then in vogue.  I can’t exactly blame the reformers, considering what a mutated mutt our language is, but I do think they are at least a little silly.

Anyway, back to Ambrose Bierce.  He proposed a new punctuation to be attached to “every jocular or ironical sentence” that looked like this: He called it the snigger point.

Snigger point.

Such a great term.

Actually, I prefer it as one word: sniggerpoint.  I wish it had been adopted, or that we could call the normal smiley a sniggerpoint.  It would never catch on (and probably would just confuse most people) but wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if it had?

This entry was posted in nerd and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sniggerpoint

  1. Beth S. says:

    A football blog on which I hang out is constantly having trouble because no one can manage to use a /sarcasm tag. I think a sniggerpoint would solve many of these problems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s