Snarky McSnarkleman

Yesterday, a friend and I snarked at each other on the phone. Then we apologized and all was well.

Notice that the word “snark” is only one letter away from “snarl.” I think that’s by design. But where did the word “snark” come from? You might think it’s a catchphrase invented by Kool Kids (or as Bando would say, the “tragically hip”) who operate heavily sponsored entertainment blog sites. Well, not so fast there, Speedy.

  • The Hunting of the Snark was a nonsensical poem written by Lewis Carroll — in 1874.
  • Math fun: a snark is a “graph in which every vertex has three neighbors, and the edges cannot be colored by three colors without two edges of the same color meeting at a point.” Riiiight. Point being — the study of snarks was begun in 1880 by some geometry Poindexter named Peter Tait.
  • The SM-62 Snark Rocket was a cruise missile with a nuclear warhead, used by the US Strategic Air Command from 1958 until 1961.
  • Novelist Jack London wrote The Cruise of the Snark, about a houseboat he lived on from 1906-1908. (He actually stole the name from Lewis Carroll.)

So there’s a snarky lesson for you. I like “snark,” because it’s a noun, a verb, an adjective. Multi-purpose, the way language should be.

Here is some snark. And here. (Does anyone else remember GeoCities and Tripod? I had sites on both.) Truly though, the real snarkiness is in the comments that follow. Some made me laff out loud, like the guy who referred to GeoCities as a “leper colony for the worst websites ever made.” HA. But the comments that blow the needle off the snark scale are the ones that attack the writer. Yikes. But hey, if the fluffy pink house slipper fits…

Now go have yourself a day.


7 thoughts on “Snarky McSnarkleman

  1. Stein

    Holy crap. I forgot about geocities until just now. I remember in 5th grade, when my school first had internet we could start a website there. (This puts me in diapers again, doesn’t it…) To learn how to use the internet, start a website, and get email we did all sorts of weird stuff by today’s standards in school. We were shown, in computer class, a step-by-step process of starting a hotmail account. That took a couple of days. Then we were asked to follow the instructions on starting a geocities account and make a website about ANYTHING. We made our own neighborhood and all that garbage. Later we used some form of in-network mailing called Pegasus, at which point the students started to outsmart the teachers and turned it into an early form of an instant-messanger.

    Three years later the Y2K scare came about…

    1. Conger

      Haha, I think that almost puts Fink as having taught at SC for longer than you’ve known how to use the internet.

  2. BoomR

    oh, lordy… you just reminded me that my first Web site/pages ever was on Tripod! …and they’re still there! SCARY pictures of me!! I need to make that go away REALLY soon! LOL


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