Sarcasm in written communication: emoticons are efficient markers of intention

Thompson, Dominic and Filik, Ruth (2016) Sarcasm in written communication: emoticons are efficient markers of intention. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication . ISSN 1083-6101

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Here we present two studies that investigate the use of emoticons in clarifying message intent. We look at sarcasm in particular, which can be especially hard to interpret correctly in written communication. In both studies, participants were required to make the intentions of their messages clear. In the first, they clarified the meaning of existing sentences without altering the wording; in the second, they produced their own sentences. Results provided clear evidence that tongue and wink emoticons are the principal indicators of sarcastic intent, and that ellipsis is associated more with criticism, rather than with sarcasm. These findings highlight the significant role emoticons play in clarifying message intention, compensating for the absence of non-verbal cues in written communication

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: emoticons, irony, sarcasm, text messaging, CMC, language production, pragmatics
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 08:27
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:05

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