You are doubtless familiar with Poe’s Law: “Satirical expressions of extremism online are hard to distinguish from genuine ones without indicating intent.”* As inventor Nathan Poe put it, in relation to fundamentalist religious belief: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake it for the genuine article.”**
But, as usual, the master of English as a second language formulated something even better. Writing about the announcement of Facebook from the terrace of the Montreux Palace in the Spring of 1977, Vladimir Nabokov formulated his famous conundrum:
“Human conflict intensifies in proportion to the number of emojis that may aptly be wielded in a post’s riposte.”
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