Avoiding sarcasm e-mail is advised for one good reason — you leave the implied level of sarcasm to the recipient. That’s risky at best! Being sarcasm is rarely a positive thing, unless you are a skilled and experienced communicator, it is best left out of your e-mails altogether.
- A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
- A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
If you are not careful, sarcasm can be amplified by a power of 10! Based on the situation and the emotions involved the recipient may very well read into your sarcastic statement intent and tone that you did not mean. And much more than you intended.
When you make no note you are being humorous or sarcastic, that leaves room for misunderstanding. In those cases at the very least include a 😉 after your statement to make sure the other side knows you are kidding.
Otherwise, you may be taken seriously. Many who resort to sarcasm forget that the two little keystrokes that create a winky-smiley can prevent many a misunderstanding!
In professional communications sarcasm should be avoided entirely. I’ve yet to see a situation where using sarcasm enhanced or clarified a situation. Instead it “rubbed salt in the wound” or was perceived as condescending.
In a personal e-mail sarcasm can harm relationships and make further communications ineffective. When you have the urge to be sarcastic think about the end result. Is it to be funny? Make a point? To make someone feel bad and inadvertently make yourself look petty?
If you find you are being sarcastic in an e-mail ask yourself what are your intentions in doing so. Maybe it’s best you wait until the next day to see if you feel the same, or if your sense of humor is something that will be appreciated by the other side.