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We don’t want everyone to understand us all the time

Florence Hazrat, writing about the myriad failed attempts to introduce punctuation that indicates sarcasm, for Aeon:

The fact that we haven’t jubilantly included any of these marks, and ‘hashtagging’ in speech is clunky, suggests that, perhaps, the ambiguity of texts is something important and necessary, something we feel drawn to and need, not a problem in every instance to be solved. Signalling irony in a Jane Austen dialogue through punctuation is probably as euthanising as explaining a joke.

Clarity is great and all. But sometimes it’s best when you have to work to get it.

The problem is when everyone who won’t do a bit of work to get it start replying all the same.

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