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.