A pothole to make it clear that a statement is honest and genuine, although it's in a context that could have it easily mistaken for a sarcastic comment or joke. Say someone gives a suggestion, and people respond with "I think it's a great idea!". Since that comment can be both
genuine and sarcastic, this is a tool to help people know you are being genuine.
The reason for this can largely be seen in Poe's Law
. Some people actually don't know if others are being sincere or sarcastic a lot of the time, especially where text isn't as emotive as necessary to convey the sincerity properly.
Please do not pothole to this page ironically
. That would be super confusing.
In some instances, this can even be a trope in a work, when a character is usually sarcastic or snarky, but then they get moments where they mean what they say.
Contrast Sarcasm Mode
(where you don't really mean it), Humor Mode
(when you're just kidding around), and Schmuck Bait
(where traps are worded as sincere warnings against falling into them).