Welcome back to our ongoing exploration of useless shit we get in the mail. This week, a sales pitch for an unusual new product.
What It Is: A stack of Post-Its from Sarcasm, Inc.
Wait, What?: Fortunately, we got a letter explaining this one. Sarcasm, Inc. is a company from Michigan, apparently composed entirely of just two guys, that proudly announces their invention of the SarcMark™, a punctuation mark designed to indicate that a sentence is sarcastic. In order to share this invention with the world, they sent us a package of Post-Its with their website and symbol prominently displayed on every sheet.
Why Did You Send Us This?: Verbatim: “While writing articles, you may have found yourself wondering if the reader would understand the sarcastic remark you made. Because you’re unsure, you may have opted to leave that sarcastic remark out. That is a shame, but doesn’t need to be the case anymore. The time has come for the SarcMark.” So in order to save us from our sad state of sincerity, Sarcasm Inc. generously provided free login codes to download software that would allow us to print their spirally brainchild whenever and wherever we desire.
Why We Don’t Want It: To begin with, there’s the manner in which we received it. The address reads, and I quote:
That’s an accumulation of errors so egregious that it almost comes off as, well, sarcasm. If you can’t be bothered to even get the name of a large public university right, I can’t help but think your expressions of concern for our ability to make our authorial voice clear are a bit disingenuous. Beyond that, marketing a sarcasm mark to a comedy writer is just a tad insulting. You know what it means if a reader can’t understand that you’re being sarcastic? It means YOU ARE BAD AT SARCASM. The English language is flexible enough that anyone with a good working knowledge of it can manage to make their tone apparent, even in print, with a little effort. If you need a punctuation mark to indicate tone, you’re admitting defeat. We’re college students who make a comedy magazine. We don’t need an excuse to be lazier than we already are.