Debate:Definition of Snark

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This debate is intended to define snark, which seems to vary from person to person here.

It is the satirist's job to present facts in a ludicrous way.

It is the parodist's job to exaggerate facts in a ridiculous way.

It is the fool's job to ignore facts and simply write irrelevant jibber jabber.

Do any of these definitions meet the 'snark' of this place? There is some decent parody and satire but there is also quite a lot of foolishness which goes unchallenged. What do you think? How do you define it? MarcusCicero 13:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I think "snark" here is more of a stylistic thing rather than anything that can be defined hard-and-fast. Whereas Wikipedia is very dry, RW can add in some small, sarcastic touches that make things more interesting to read. Sometimes articles don't have any, sometimes it goes too far; proper "snark" shouldn't sacrifice facts at the expense of a joke so I completely agree with you on the unchecked foolishness thing. Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:40, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
You see, these are some of the things which I try to get across but often get lost in the hysteria and in translation. WP is an encyclopedia - by necessity it is dry. Uncyclopedia is supposed to parody, but its rather poor (There are only so many times you can fake quote Oscar Wilde) RW should be snarky and sarcastic, but not at the expense of facts. Reason should be at the heart of any discourse here but I'm afraid foolishness when combined with silly internet memes get in the way of any kind of humourous attempt. MarcusCicero 13:48, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Heaven forbid that any foolishness go unchallenged! Seriously, lighten up dude. So you don't like some of the humour here, but obviously other members do. There's no objective way of defining what is funny or snarky & what isn't. The humour on the site will always be what people here find funny. It only really needs chsllenging when it's cringingly lame stuff that only the perpetrator finds funny (e.g. like most of CUR's output) or when it's overtly offensive (e.g. racist or homophobic). WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:49, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Back to square one. I'm trying to explain to you why the foolishness is not funny, and why parody and satire is. MarcusCicero 13:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Foolishness is not funny because its not based on anything. Satire and parody is because its based on facts, and actually has meaning. I fear my generation has sacrificed any artistic ability and the age of wit is dead, but RW shouldn't encourage it. MarcusCicero 13:51, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
(EC)It's kind of a blend of satire and sarcasm, on the principle that "many a true word is spoken in jest." Nonsensical jibber-jabber should not go in mainspace articles, and, though funny in the moment, becomes stale very quickly. It's why I don't bother with Uncyclopedia any more. So, snark at RW is parody, sarcasm and satire that serves to highlight flawed argument, authoritarian thinking and so on. Totnesmartin 13:53, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
So, snark at RW is parody, sarcasm and satire that serves to highlight flawed argument, authoritarian thinking and so on. I'm sorry, but that is simply not the case. Your in too deep to have any kind of open mind about it, but I can guarantee you that that is not the case. MarcusCicero 13:55, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Whoops, I meant "what it ideally should be and often is" - in reality of course, it falls short of that. Totnesmartin 14:04, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
[citation needed] - examples please? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:58, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
(EC)I think we do quite an okay job of keeping on top of the nonsensical stuff though. Stuff gets shunted into funspace regularly, people come along and clean things up, articles that are just a one-line joke get padded out with some interesting facts first. But this only happens because of a voluntary effort by some people who have come together to do it. There will always places on RW where it has gone unchecked and you can't really blame people for missing it or finding it funny enough to keep. Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:59, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Totnesmartin makes a good point. What something is and what it ideally should be are often two different things and RW is no exception. We can strive to that ideal and the stated aims, but MC, you shouldn't get concerned and pissy when we fall slightly short because that's always going to happen. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:08, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
It is often some of the more prominent members who defend this crap though. I know there are others who just find it juvenile but it is slightly a rosy picture your painting if you believe that this is only a small minority which slips under the radar now and then. MarcusCicero 14:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's a small minority or that some established editors don't let it slip. I'm just saying that the wiki's mainspace is a collaborative effort and it attracts all sorts. If some of that stuff isn't to your taste, change it directly or bring up a point specifically rather than whining about the generalities. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:37, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
What amazes me is that even though our articles are written by many different people, they have pretty much a unified voice. Snark to me is using a biting sense of humour to get a point across--prolly something that's been said on this page. Not really much of a debate, though--we all seem to agree on the definition of the term. Is what MC asking not really: "Is RW snarky or simply foolish?" I'd like to see some examples of RW humour that don't make the cut, but I doubt anybody will provide them. RaoulDuke 14:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Margaret Thatcher - The line about her fighting the war for oil would be considered foolishness by 99% of the rational population of the world. I wonder who done that? MarcusCicero 14:55, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The statement's sourced - I don't see where the problem is. I know you've said you hate fact-finding and picking examples but you'll have to do much better. Scarlet A.pngsshole 15:05, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, if someone hadn't taken out the part about "fortunate hindsight," it would be accurate. So I put it back in to keep li'l MC happy. RaoulDuke 15:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I think that snark originally is a portmanteau of snide and remark. On RationalWiki it serves as a way to sarcastically or wittily show pseudoscience and crank ideas. It then uses reasoning, logic and facts to back up the snide remarks.Several ingredients (talk) 08:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
An actual description of what role derisive humor has on the site would include a darker side, as well. It's true that bizarre thought patterns in crank positions can be shown with comic effect, and that this helps people to dismiss such views and move on with life. But it's also possible to frame a great variety of reasonable views with a mocking tone and to use that as an engine for dismissing the viewpoint without any particular effort to evaluate it closely and objectively. RaoulDuke seems surprised that many people behind the wiki could present a fairly uniform voice at the surface, but I'm not. The POV is defined as more than merely rationalist, and the use of snark in particular seems to me to also be an engine of consensus for dismissing unsavory moral positions where empirical objectivity would not by itself suffice -- mocking humor is well in character with the rhetoric of the young and politically progressive, anyway.
This site's snarkiness sprawls well outside the box prescribed by the sort of definitions proposed on this page. It's not always biting or mean-spirited or juvenile, nor is it always about recognizing viewpoints as Wrong at Face Value (correctly or otherwise). Sometimes I see a mocking tone being used as a kind of skeptical aid, in the sense that in order to judge matters of fact we must set matters of value aside, and in order to rest comfortably on a theory that we like, we must first find a way of distancing ourselves from the liking for a while in order to examine the theory critically. Subjecting our preferred views to low-level mockery can be a way of achieving this critical distance and highlighting the more tentative parts of our own thought processes. Shirtsleeves (talk) 02:09, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Seems like Shnark is just dry sarcasm that doesn't detract from a factual analysis. --Jzyehoshua (talk) 00:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)