Friday, March 12, 2010

And the word of the day is...

SNARKY - originated as British slang; it's a word used to describe someone or something as testy and irritable in a sarcastic vein (my own interpreted definition)

I like the word snarky. It's fun to say and it's one of those words that sounds like what it's describing. In fact, it's hard to say without wrinkling your nose or curling your lip. Try it.

I think snarkiness can be humorous and in good fun, but I've made an observation that being snarky has become vogue in our popular culture in a way that is often degrading and sometimes rude. So many people are willing to say something snarky at another's expense simply to earn a laugh or a bump in their own poll.

Case in point, check out this article from today's Washington Post about American Idol - "American Idol Picks its Top 12". I'll admit the article made me laugh at the beginning, but by the time I finished I just felt put-off. I read another article I would also describe as snarky, but it was so highly offensive in its characterization of evangelical Christians that I won't direct you to it.

My point is simply this: we've gotten too comfortable at the idea of putting someone else down "jokingly" to get a laugh. I say that as someone who is often sarcastic and enjoys sarcasm in others. However, it can be a tool for tearing people down instead of building people up. Women, we are often guilty of doing this to our husbands/boyfriends/brothers when we get together, which is gossip in addition to tearing down. Guys, ya'll do it to each other in front of each other. Sure, that means you're not necessarily gossiping, but you are getting in the way of relationships that provide accountability and spiritual discipline.

There are lots of Bible verses I could point to, but for now let me simply offer I Thessalonians 5:10-11, which says "Jesus died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up."

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