Being a Snark (and some shameless self-promotion)

Word Nerds of the Web, Unite!

Why The Internet Could Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened To The English Language: Online epiphanies of an inveterate grammar snarkBy Olivia McDowell.

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Snarks are not alone. Hence the above article (read it all here), which I wrote last year as part of my Online Journalism course. And now my little rant has been published in No·men·cla·ture, the online fruit of that course, and I feel duty bound to spread the word: Snark is cool! So please, read on.

Haters of lolcats and lovers of grammatical perfection, you will not be disappointed.


A bit more about snark…

  • The word ‘snark’ — which began life as a portmanteau (snide + remark) — now also refers to a nark (informer) with snarking tendencies: see detailed etymology here.

  • Lewis Carroll — widely credited with having invented the portmanteau during Alice’s second trip, Through The Looking Glass — also wrote the fabulous nonsense poem, The Hunting of the Snark.

  • It’s been said that Snark is the language of losers. Witless, angry, petulent and belittling. That it wishes it were Jon Stewart (who is just awesome, by the way), when it fact it’s more like, well, Bill O’Reilly.

  • To me, a snark is someone with a pedantic eye for detail, and a penchant for picking out minor details — right or wrong — then waffling on about them for no other reason than pure self-indulgence. A snark is cheerily particular: specific, but never angry.

  • ‘Snark’ is also another name for the Irony Mark (؟).
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3 thoughts on “Being a Snark (and some shameless self-promotion)

  1. Actually, “snark” didn’t begin life as a portmanteau, that seems to be a folk etymology. It began as either an “imitative” word related to “snork”, or as an alternation of “nark” meaning “to annoy”.

  2. Pingback: A minor revision re: lolcats « Proof (v.)

  3. Pingback: Word Nerds seek not vengeance « Proof (v.)

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