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Speaking snark

When I'm by myself - that is when there's no one within earshot, I often read aloud dialogues from a novel. Its a bit tiring after a couple of pages, and I find myself concentrating more on the modulation bit rather than the story. And I always voice the good characters, or if there are none in the scene, the snarkiest ones. Needless to say, my level of snark is blunted by my daily rigours, though in my head, I make up all sorts of highly inflammatory responses that could have been employed in a given situation. Never saying them out loud has helped me being tolerable for human companionship. 

Nobody does snark better than Alistair MacLean. He is the king of snark. P.G. Wodehouse also dabbles in it, but the application is wrapped in such florid English, that it takes the snide to a whole new level of art. And then there are the modern antiheroes - the kind like Constantine; they are cynical and brooding and being impertinent is just a way of life. I'm yet to gather taste for such characters, though they are immense fun to read about, especially after a hard day at work when my head comes to bursting with unsaid retorts accumulated over the day.  

So who is the snarkiest of them all ? Lets see...

1. Holden Caulfield: Isn't he in all of us ?! Caulfield's banter, often bordering on the offensive, does not seem malicious. But he certainly has a sense of humour, which, mixed with his sensitivity, makes his thought bubbles of an immensely twisted-smile-with-a-snort variety. 

2. Bartimaeus: He is the Demon I love to love ! He/It is incapable of talking straight and his every utterance makes you marvel at the beauty and versatility of English ! All the three Bartimaeus books by Stroud are lessons in how to insult people without raising an arm. 

3. Sherlock Holmes: Well, duh ! His convoluted way of saying that you're (or Watson, as the case may be) is a dud, is pretty effective, no matter how many five-syllabic words he may employ. 

4. George, Harris and Jerome and Montmorency: These three (gentle)men and their dog embark on a river voyage and unleash a tirade of mild snark pretty unconsciously. Something along the lines of  George goes to sleep at the bank everyday, except on Saturdays, when they kick him out at noon..."or thereabouts ! Even Montmorency can't suppress his wit. 

5. If I were ever to meet Douglas Adams in person, and if he turned to be anything like the books he wrote, I suppose I would die of his sense of snark. Though I can't recall any of his characters who would qualify in this list, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and I mean the book that Prefect refers to) itself reeks of snide remarks wrapped in an innocuous and clinical cloak. 

6. What about are Marvel superheroes ?! Deadpool ??!! Tony Stark ? Marvel wouldn't quite be as sunny without them. I'm not exactly sure if it is supposed to be sunny, but Deadpool is like a ten-year old trapped in an adult body. A weird adult body, but you get the drift. Stark is however better at snark, given that he doesn't often end up making a fool of himself. 

I guess it's an art form, being able to turn simple basal thoughts into something stinging and more effective. I've found that more often than not, it sounds more offensive than I mean it to be, but what the hell ! Used judiciously, snark earns you a level of respect you probably wouldn't gain by saying That's bad manners !, unless you're a parent. Even then, I believe, it wouldn't quite hit the spot like saying Such charming disposition ! How many friends did you make today ?!.


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