Friday, January 3, 2020


Two LiveJournal threads from 2010 and 2012 discussed this new use of the tilde, in contexts like “Well, isn’t that ~ special” or “Every character on that show has a ~ tragic past ~.”

Both threads were started by people asking about the meaning of this new use of the tilde that they’d been seeing, and yet both askers correctly deciphered its meaning in their original questions.

One said, “It seems to designate some sort of irony or disagreement with what is said,” and the other, “what I am guessing is the equivalent of scare quotes.”

In the discussion threads that followed, a few people still primarily recognized the tilde as “approximately” (as in ~ 20) or as the cheerful decorative ~* ~ sparkles ~* ~ or Japanese cute lengthening ~ ~ ~ of previous years, but many also recognized them as sarcastic.
Source: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCulloch

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