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Word of the Day: snarky – because I was called that today on the bar association website

by pfeifer on March 2, 2010

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Word of the Day: snarky – because I was called that this morning

Today’s word of the day, which happens to be the first word of the day for this website (cut us some slack, we’re new), is “snarky.”  This word was selected because I was called “snarky to the max” just this morning in a post on the website of the Alabama State Bar.

Ok, technically the author did not direct the snarky description directly at me, but she did describe my article “Why your lawyer won’t take or return your phone calls – top 10 reasons” as “snarky to the max.”   While she also said the article “doesn’t do anything improve the image of the legal profession in the eyes of the legal-services-buying public,” I actually took her commentary on the article to be in defense of it, sort of, more or less.

It seems that the article generated some controversy behind the scenes among some of the various bar associations around the country.  Having never been one to shy away from a little controversy, I take that as a good thing – as long as I don’t get disbarred over it.

Anyway, for those lawyers among our readers who could identify with the lawyer phone calls article, I would recommend that you read Ms. Calloway’s post.

Getting back on subject, just what is the meaning of “snarky,” or the superlative, “snarky to the max?”

According to Dictionary.com, the term snarky is an adjective of Dutch and Low German origin  meaning “rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide” or “irritable or short-tempered; irascible.” Merriam-Webster online describes it as “crotchety, snappish” or “sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner.”  While Wiktionary.org lists the superlative as “snarkiest,” I prefer the phrasing “snarky to the max” from the bar association blog post.  For anyone belonging to a generation which does not know what a “valley girl” is or who otherwise fails to understand what “to the max” means, it merely means to the maximum.

How to use it in a sentence:
1.    “While I will freely concede that the post is snarky to the max and doesn’t do anything improve the image of the legal profession in the eyes of the legal-services-buying public, I’m not sure that’s really who the author was aiming at, anyway.” Source: Maybe Your Lawyer Is Drunk
2.   “. . .  the verbal parrying in Prime Minister’s Question Time is rancorous and snarky to the max.”  Source:  Prime Minister’s Question Time
3.    “It’s a wonderful, hilarious, and snarky-to-the-max review.”   Source: D20source.com reader comment.

Since snarky is now officially the word of the day, your job is to go use it in a sentence.  If you can find an excuse to say  “snarky to the max,” even better.  And if you come up with some great ideas, please share them in the comments section below.  We’d love to see some of the other ways this can be used in conversation or in your writing.  And yes, posting a link back to where you’ve used the word on your own blog is acceptable as long as it is a legitimate blog post.

Now go do some snarky writing!

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