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You’re Joking: Detecting Sarcasm in Emails Isn’t Easy

Across three studies, Chatham University psychological scientists Monica Riordan and Lauren Trichtinger measured people’s accuracy at gauging the emotional tone of emails sent by both friends and complete strangers. Their results: We’re terrible at it – even when we’re corresponding with our friends.


Stashed in: Awesome, Email, Commenting, Emojis!

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[from another study]... "The results showed that people were “significantly more likely to use emoticons to aid understanding in sarcastic comments than literal ones.” Emoticons were also more likely to occur in texts articulating praise rather than criticism.

Specifically, Thompson and Filik found that the tongue out (:p) and wink (; )) emoticons were the most closely linked with marking sarcasm, and almost never appeared in any condition except for marking sarcasm.

“Importantly, this suggests emoticons may actually be more efficient than ‘standard’ language for marking sarcastic intent,” Thompson and Filik conclude. “That is, the intention can be communicated more quickly via an emoticon than via additional words or phrases, in a way somewhat similar to nonverbal cues in speech.”

<saracsm>It'd be easy if people used proper effing markup</sarcasm>

Truth. No sarcasm.

In general it's hard to ascertain tone in Internet comments too. 

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