chapter  27
Humor Markers
ByChristian Burgers, Margot van Mulken
Pages 15

In 1899, French poet Alcanter de Brahm proposed that ironists should use a specific punctuation mark known as the ironic sign to guide their readers explicitly in an ironic interpretation of an utterance. The irony mark would be a spoiler alert, and thereby reduce the pleasure of using irony. In order to help the receiver to detect the intention of the communicator, she may use less overt signals, named irony markers. The first group of markers includes typographic markers. Typographic markers include the use of striking typography, like the use of quotation marks and capitalization. In the case of computer-mediated communication (CMC), this category also includes the use of emoticons to signal humorous intent. Co-text refers to all other elements that can help the reader in detecting ironic intent. One study looking at foreign-language learners engaging in synchronous CMC found that the use of multiple humorous utterances was actually most common way by which foreign-language learners supported their humor use.