Saturday, October 03, 2009

In which I learn about emoticons for sarcasm ...


Giridhar says I should have relied on something more than "Ah, this victory must smell so sweet!" to convey how hollow I thought IIT FAs' "victory" was.

Evidently, the "Ah" at the beginning just doesn't cut it as a verbal marker for irony / sarcasm / snark. The comments indicate that several people just took the outcome of yesterday's meeting as a real victory for the IIT FAs. Perhaps they have other, independent evidence to think that way, but I certainly think of it as a hollow victory devoid of any real, substantive concessions.

In addition to being nebulous, autonomy and flexibility are also so cheap that they could be dished out during the course of a broadcast interview!

* * *

I have received three pieces of advice on how to avoid that kind of blogging FAIL:

  1. Just use plain language to convey what you feel.

  2. Use explicit markers (something like [snark] ... [/snark]).

  3. Use emoticons such as :d or :-J. (This is from Giridhar).

2 Comments:

  1. Ashish said...

    Deep Down I sense a fervour of resentment that engulfs you like an other elite institutes(non-IIT) about IIT and IITians...

    Sir you have written 169 post only on IIT... that sums your delusion and obsession with IIT...

    Sir, I'd urge you to criticize the IIT-community in a healthy and lucid manner but not make fun of us or the whole IIT system which is a gift to the world by our first prime minister Nehru jee...

    No personal offense intended

  2. Anonymous said...

    "The comments indicate that several people just took the outcome of yesterday's meeting as a real victory for the IIT FAs."

    Prof. Abi, I was one of the "several people!" I admit that I didn't catch your sarcasm, and made a fool of myself in the process. :-)

    Rereading your post makes things more clear now. However, I still feel the restoration of flexibility for recruitment and promotions is a victory. It may not have brought anything new to the system, but at least it prevented any major damage before it was too late. Isn't it possible that the minister may have refused to back down, and would have insisted on the OCAP position for all disciplines? Isn't the current scenario much better -- and hence worthy of being called a victory?

    -- NP