In Defense of Satire

Guillotine sitting behind prison bars
From my Treatise on Writing Collection, 2022

Recently, I read a great blog article titled ‘Are Emojis Killing the Art of Writing?’ My humor kicked in, and I typed a few thoughts in the comment section. A few paragraphs later, I realized I wasn’t commenting; I was writing a full-length humorous editorial.

Here’s an excerpt of my comments that would have become a tome had I not stopped.

“Whew! Thank goodness. I’m safe from the guillotine to live another day. I escaped the smackdown in your article on a technicality — the loophole that your advice was for paid writers, and I am not writing ‘for publication.’ I write only for enjoyment and to occasionally interact with others in the comments section — not to try to have my work picked up and distributed to large publications for payment.
As far as the content of your article, I must admit that I am an offender in that I probably use the abbreviation LOL too often. But then, I’m primarily a humorist.

I humbly apologize if my too-informal writing style has ever caused any of my esteemed colleagues to seek the services of a therapist. LOL. Oops. Sorry, it’s in me to use that abbreviation. Shrug.

Here’s Another Point I’d Like to Make

If all readers could intuit satire when reading our pieces, there would be fewer emojis and abbreviations.

Aware of the problem, a few of my fellow writers and I are now adding disclaimers in our articles along the lines of “Yo, ‘errbody … I’m joking. Don’t get your knickers in a knot!”

Such is Life

Being uptight seems hard-coded in some folks; I get that. Being a woman of compassion, I cut them a break and try not to be so critical. Perhaps they can’t help it.

These poor, humorless folks may have been born astrologically. Who knows? They may have Picayune in their 14th house, opposing Lilith in the 11th, with a stellium of Pluto conjunct Saturn and Mars in their communication sector.

If so, their knee-jerk reactions might cause them to fire off nasty grams or author a few Niggling-Nancy Notes before realizing what they’re blessing down was never intended to be taken seriously in the first place.

And then again, these are the slings and arrows of a lowly satirical writer’s life, and we must bear them, right?

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Please Join Me in a Moment of Silence

I wish to be serious here for a nanosecond and tip my hat in deference to all the venerated teacher types in the blogosphere. They’re out there, working to save the art of writing, one faux pas at a time.

I agree that flip informality and frivolity are inappropriate in serious business communications. However, I recall a few Board Meetings where I was tempted to sprinkle in a ‘Yo baby!’ or two. A few colorful LOL emojis might have jazzed up my financial presentations.

Stern Looking Teacher with a long pointer

I imagine a few writing purists are out there contemplating Mommie Dearest mode.

So, to demonstrate that my heart is in the right place and that I am truly a team player, I will march straight to my room to place myself in Writer’s Time Out (WTO).

I will be flogging myself with a cat-of-nine-tails as penance for all the cliches, cheeky remarks, emojis, square brackets, em dashes, parentheses, and filler words (like really, and actually) I may have used/misused herewith.”

Also, before anyone jumps up to correct me … yes, I know there is no such thing as an 11th or 14th house in astrology. I threw that in to see how many of you were paying attention. Gotcha!

Press Play

I send a hearty virtual hug out to all my writing buddies. You know who you are.

The ones who dare to break the mold … the bold and courageous few … the ones who dare to go where few have gone …, and the ones who risk being their funny selves in a forum filled with critics. [And especially to those who can encounter a paragraph like this — with too many ellipses placed for comedic emphasis — and not start to twitch or reactivate that nasty tic.]

High-fiving you, my friends. Try not to be too hard on yourselves. Keep honing your craft.

Remember, a lecture hall of uptight English majors is a hard room to work!



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