Thursday, June 11, 2009

In Defense of Snark

As with many of the best words in the public lexicon, "snark" has yet to make it to Webster's as anything more than Lewis Carroll's imaginary friend. However, the Urban Dictionary has definitions aplenty. And by aplenty, I mean 27. Some of which are flat out ridiculous, but such is the way of the interwebz.

It's called a hybrid of "snide" and "remark", a hybrid of "smart ass" and "remark", and a number of bizarre bodily fluids - many of which have to do with the nasal cavity. But my two favorite definitions are:

4. snark (n.) verbal ingenuineness that is brief, subtle, yet quite stabbing. snark is often marked by deep creativity & use of psychological attack. It employs coldbloodedness and is best served unprovoked. Snark can contain hidden complimentary meaning under a mean face, but it hurts more than it strengthens.

7. snark (n.) A smart ass remark made by wanna be hipsters who think they cloak their douchebaggery in a self important sense of fey cleverness and ironic witticism. Usually those who make "snarky" remarks , can expect to receive a punch to the face , which usually results in cries of injustice, inevitably leading to an apology for bleeding all over the aggressors shirt after being punched again for being a whiny little bitch. (The reason I love definition seven is that it is so magnificently snarky as it maligns the use of snark. Poetry, my friends, pure poetry.)

I like snark.

And I don't think it necessarily "hurts more than it strengthens" any more than it is necessarily coldblooded. Snark is not evil! Snark is just a tool, used for good and evil alike. Don't blame the snark! Blame the wielders of evil snark!

Snark is often a way of proving how clever you are to the rest of the world, so maybe it's a glorified front for insecurity (blah, blah, psychobabble, blah), but it can also be hella funny and the benefits of the hella funny are not to be easily dismissed. (Laughter is the best medicine, and all that.)

You know why I think people don't like snark? Because in general snark is smart and snappy and funny and accurate, which makes it damn hard to refute. So the victims of snark feel impotent and out of control, which they really, really hate. (Bonus for the reference.) They blame the fact of snark for their lack of snappy comeback. Or they fear the onset of a snark war should they reply wittily.

So you've been snarked. My advice? Laugh it off. It's attention. Take it as a compliment (no matter how uncomplimentary) and just remember it isn't everyone's opinion. Even if it is funny and true.

But I'm a thinker, not a feeler (woot, Myers-Briggs!). Sorry, guys. I just don't give a [insert expletive here] about how the snark makes you feel. I'm too busy laughing. Cuz it's hella funny.

Here are some of my favorite romance book review sites, which employ the art of snark in varying degrees. Enjoy. Feelers: you might wanna take a pass on these links. Lovers of snark: I highly recommend the "F" reviews on DA & SBTB. Heaven.

Mrs. Giggles - snarkiness galore.
Smart Bitches Trashy Books - snarktastic.
Dear Author - eau de snark.



I tell people "I snark you because I like you". It is a sign of affection. Do they believe this BS? I certainly hope so, because one of these people is my husband, who honest to gosh believes my sarcasm is some sort of lovefest.

No, really. It's true. I'm uber polite to people I don't know or don't like (unless I can get away with ignoring them). If I like you, you're fair game. I've never been struck...although I'm sure the thought has crossed a mind or two.

Miss you.

Vivi Andrews said...

LOL. I love it. "No, honey, I snark you because I luuuuuv you." Appreciation of snark = defining quality in Mr. Right.