Anyone concerned that the irony of their email or text message might not be appreciated by its recipient can use the symbol to close their sentence, thereby avoiding awkward misunderstandings.
They have even published a sample list of sentences that would benefit from a SarcMark, including the words of British woman who was awarded only half of her National Lottery jackpot by a court after the winning ticket fell from her pocket and was claimed by someone else.
It appears that the irony of her statement – “It’s jolly decent of them to let me have a half share of my win” – was lost on some readers.
Paul Sak of the firm said that the new punctuation mark was not a gimmick and had serious potential applications, such as allowing deaf people to pick up sarcasm in subtitles.
Well it’s about time.