Pause For Nuanced Effect

Through the vagaries of the Internet, this article proposing new punctuation marks floated across my section of the aether. While the article is satire, the underlying issue of miscommunication is very real. In the spirit of which, I’d like to propose three useful signifiers of my own.

The Seriousicon

A symbol for indicating that one isn’t being ironic, aggressive, or such; rather one is being serious. The opposite of

To avoid grammatical burden, perhaps Mike Trapp’s I’m Not Angry mark or Sinceriod could be expanded to cover all statements where there isn’t a subversive subtext.

An inforgraphic of a proposed puncutation mark to symbolise the user not being angry
©College Humour

For example, this would be used to indicate questions or statements are part of a genuine desire to expand knowledge rather than indulge in the binary of supporter-opposer that pervades social media.

The Specificator

A mark to indicate that any specifics stated in the post are relevant.

For example, one might include it when asking a question about fixing a particular error that was occurring with a computer to highlight that one had already tried turning it off and on again and reinstalling.

The Not American

A mark to signify that the poster isn’t in the United States. This would be used to reduce inapplicable advice in those circumstances where something is different in different countries.

For example, in the US copyright remedies differ depending on whether a work is registered with the Library of Congress; in the UK, this doesn’t make a difference.

Unlike the Specificator, which would indicate relevant considerations in a statement, this could be part of someone’s nickname, signature, or such so that it was obvious for all posts.

For clarity, the name wasn’t selected out of a belief that no USians remember the rest of the world exists—just enough to make it satirical.

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