Gotta Love Copyright Fights about Punctuation¡

According to Slashdot, Sarcasm, Inc., is trying to advocate a new punctuation symbol to indicate sarcasm, the SarcMark, only they have copyrighted it and require the purchase of their software to use the symbol. Open Sarcasm has responded to the SarcMark by providing an open sarcasm symbol: ¡. Yes. It's an upside down exaclamation point (I have no idea what the official name for the typographic symbol is. Anybody?).

Anyway, I'm certain I won't be following the battle between Sarcasm, Inc., and Open Sarcasm. I kind of like the idea of having a typographic symbolm, though, to use at the end of a sentence. Couldn't be because I'm sarcastic¡


Wayne Booth, in "The Rhetoric of Irony," suggests that Alcanter de Brahm had prior art as far back as 1899 with what he called "le petit signe de flagellateur" (55). There are also, of course, the special quotation marks used to denote various forms of verbal irony proposed by Kenneth Burke. What Sarcasm, Inc. doesn't get -- and Burke, too, oddly -- but that Booth does is that sarcasm relies for part of its punch on ambiguity.