So, by my very nature I’m a little sarcastic. Perhaps the better way of putting it would be that I have a much more dry sense of humor. Witty retorts and clever jabs are a means of expression for me. The question of this post is whether or not sarcasm and other forms of dry humor communicate well over text, more specifically over 140 characters on Twitter. The challenge has always been there while using text. How many times has an instant message or e-mail been ill received due to some clever remark tossed in as a bit of funny to lighten the day when really all it accomplished was to raise the ire of those it was directed towards? More often than I can count before I send a message I am rereading it and trying to determine double entendres and those words that might sear or cut the flesh of another. So, the recommendation in this regard is to take care in the words used and only use the choicest of phrase that may cause a giggle on the other end, but beware such hilarity is not for the faint of heart.
The second difficulty with using a medium such as Twitter is the complications that could arise due to a lack of response. No one feels the need to use “lol” except under the most exceptional of circumstances or under the guise of a most polite of response. The medium doesn’t hold up well to this sort of twitty banter, in fact it has been known to collapse due to it. There are always those around that will not quite get it until it is pointed out to them. All I can say to that is there is nothing to be done. If they can’t get it off the bat, and it has to be explained to them, then they will never find it funny. You can only respond with kindness and prepare for the backlash of those folk who just don’t get it and probably never will.
Ideally with such limited amounts of characters as one has on Twitter I would recommend all of the usual inserts that can be made but of course you’ll need to shorten them i.e. drop the dashes in smilies, when using tags drop the vowels etc. The other thing that I believe will be wholly necessary is a decent vocabulary, gain it through any means necessary i.e. reading more frequently, reading the notecards from your SAT’s, and stealing dictionaries from little old ladies. Wow, almost 450 words… Am I a windbag or what? Please comment and relay how you feel about dry humor in these times of decreased character counts.