When I write sarcasm, I put it in italic writing, like; what a beautiful sweater. I also do this when writing third person perspective characters like; he's ugly. But what if the character is thinking something sarcastic. Like for example, the character meets someone called John Smith. So then he sarcastically thinks; creative name. Apologies to anyone called John Smith. Anyway, considering thoughts are already in italic, there's not way of showing what's sarcasm. Sure, one can use one's brain, but that's not always reliable, for two reasons. First, opinions are subjective, so one might think that John Smith is a very unique name (statistically it isn't). Secondly, there is autistic readers out there who simply might not get the sarcasm without a clear pointing finger to it. I was not trying to be hurtful back there, I'm just stating the facts. -Not seeing sarcasm and not being good at communication in general are traits of autism. Anyway, back to the question. How to make sarcasm visually clear within already italicized writing? It's a question of writing technicality, I believe.

  • 1
    Do you include a note somewhere in the things that you write explaining that you use italics to mark sarcasm? As far as I know, this is not a common convention, so I wouldn't consider it "a clear pointing finger" in any context.
    – herisson
    Mar 27, 2018 at 21:36
  • @sumelic Perhaps, but I believe if italics are used on one word in a sentence that's debateably sarcastic, then people will figure it out. In a thought were everything is italicized anyway, you don't get the same effect.
    – A. Kvåle
    Mar 27, 2018 at 21:38
  • 4
    In good writing, readers shouldn't need typographical cues to determine sarcasm.
    – KarlG
    Mar 27, 2018 at 21:47
  • I agree with @KarlG, you should try to convey it in the text. In this case, I'd write something like "Wow, real creative name"
    – divibisan
    Mar 27, 2018 at 21:50
  • 1
    Following on @KarlG point on quality writing - I would suggest you take this question to the stack overflow writers forum writing.stackexchange.com Which point of view you are writing from (first person , etc) would dictate some choices - I am not sure this is really an English language question
    – Tom22
    Mar 27, 2018 at 22:04


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.