Snarkiness validated

A post on Elizabeth Large’s Dining @ Large blog, “What to do about the snarkers,” has led to a little pellet dropped at my site by the elusive commenter Owl Meat:

What do you think about a post whose topic is an ill-defined slang word? I got all pinot noir angsty and kirked out on my blomeys¹ last night about the word "snarkers". Any thoughts?

1 blog homeys

Much as I dislike having to contradict His Raptorness, I am unable to condemn snarker out of hand. Snarky — irritable or short-tempered — has a pedigree extending back a century. The Oxford English Dictionary records this sentence from E. Nesbit’s Railway Children of 1906: “Don’t be snarky, Peter. It isn’t our fault.”

And, as anyone familiar with patterns of movement in English knows full well, once a word lodges itself in the language in one form, it will not take long for it to spread into the adjacent classifications. Thus, once there is snarky, there must be snark (n.) ill-tempered remarks, snark (v.i.) to utter such remarks, snarker (n.) one who utters snarky remarks, and snarkiness (n.) the quality inherent in snark. Snarkily (adv.) is probably not far behind.

You may not care for it, but you cannot stop it.

As far as individual snarkers go, I can offer you a brief update on Mr. Animus, mentioned previously as a prime specimen of the breed in “Painful cases,” with an addendum in “The carnage.”

Mr. Animus has made himself so obnoxious at Gannett Blog that the proprietor, Jim Hopkins, made it the most recent site to ban him from further commenting: “You are no longer welcome on this blog because you have abused your privileges. Please do not come back.”

Mr. Hopkins added this advice to his readers: “Abusive posters can destroy blogs, message boards and other online forums. I choose to allow anonymous commenting because of this blog's sensitive topics. The best way to deal with abusive posters is to deny them the attention they crave. Please, IGNORE them!”

Excellent advice, since any attention given to these types dilates their already exalted sense of their own significance. Thus this is likely the last mention of Mr. Animus you can expect to see here.



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