In order to avoid confusion and regulate typeface usage across its 163 member states, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced new directives this morning on the use of fonts in electronic communication with special reference to satire, comedy and sarcasm.
At a press conference in Geneva, the Chair of the ISO’s International Font Committee, Dr Véronique Charrier, said: “For too long people have been unsure whether the writer was being ironic, satirical or literal. This has led to misunderstandings which in turn have led to on-line rows, broken friendships and mass flouncing.
“Emoticons can be used to indicate that the writer is not serious, but they are not always available, and a more precise system is necessary. ISO 646-15 will address all these issues.”
After 1 January 2011, on-line joke insults should have “bad-ass” umlauts on at least one vowel per swear-word, other ‘just joking’ comments must appear in Comic Sans Serif, irony must appear in Arial Narrow, and Arial Bold will be reserved for sarcasm.
Satire must be recorded in Tahoma if the piece is to be taken literally, and italicized Tahoma if the target of the piece is in fact the people who might hold the opinion expressed in the piece, rather than the one literally being attacked.
Concluding the press conference, a spokesman said: “Now why don’t you fückers do us all a södding favour and just cöck off.”