Hearing the Tone of Words

The most difficult element of rhetorical style to characterize is tone.

I’ve seen funny movies that are satirical in that they mock social habits and conventions through irony; yet reviewers write about plot and comic effectiveness, scarcely noting the object of the humour.

Sarcasm another use of ironic tone says one thing but means another.

Mathematical and news media statements arrive toneless.

Even a question, an interogative statement may end in a period but those sensitive to tone know that what textually looks like an assertion may be a question.