SparkNotes Blog

How to Avoid Text Message Misunderstandings

Scenario: Someone sends a text message to two friends. The message reads, “I’m going to try out for the school play. Yippee!” (First, what kind of a goofball uses “Yippee”? But that’s not the point.) Within seconds, both friends send a reply.

First friend replies: “Good luck”
Second friend replies: “Good luck”

One reply is sincere; the other is sarcastic. But you can’t tell which is which, can you? And that’s the problem with sending a text message: mockery can come across as cheerfulness, and vice versa. This is why we here at SparkNotes have made some rules for how to send sincere texts, and how to send sarcastic texts.

How to Send a Sincere Text Message

Step One: Sincere texts should include the phrase, “No, really,” after the initial statement. (e.g. “I think you would make a great homecoming queen. No, really.”)

Step Two: Because that first text sounds fishy, immediately followed up with another text that says, “Honestly, I’m not kidding around. For real!” You can substitute “For real” with “4-reals,” but this may confuse older people.

Step Three: After you send the initial text and the follow-up text, you should call the person and confirm that you really meant what you said, and that this is not some sort of mean joke.

Step Four: Once you have verbally confirmed that your message was written with the utmost sincerity, hang up, and send another text that reads, “You know I’m being serious, right?”

Step Five: Of course, with all these odd messages and phone calls, the recipient will suspect that you are not being sincere. Send another text to reassure the recipient that you still stand by your first text. A follow-up phone call would be considerate at this point.

Step Six: Wait twenty minutes and send another message that says, “Sorry for any misunderstanding. Thank you for being so great about this.

Step Seven: Call the person to reinstate this fact.

Step Eight: Send the person an email explaining the whole story once again, starting from the beginning.

Step Nine: Mail a greeting card that says, “I’m not kidding. Honest!”

Step Ten: Send a cookie bouquet.

How to Send a Sarcastic Text Message

Step One: Add “jerk” to the end of the message. This will ensure that the recipient will not assume the message is heartfelt. (e.g. “You will make a great homecoming queen, jerk.”)

Step Two: Do not send a cookie bouquet.

We hope everyone will follow our new rules. This way, if someone sends you a text message, and you’re not sure if it was meant as a joke, you need only wait a few days. If you receive a cookie bouquet, the message was innocent. If you do not receive a cookie bouquet, the message was a joke. If you receive this gift basket of Turkish films (including Büyük Yalnizlik), well…we can’t say much without spoiling our upcoming 12-part series of blogs entitled, “Sending Turkish DVD Gift Baskets: What It All Means.”

Have you ever worried about the tone of a text?

Related post: Most Annoying Types of Text Message