Sarcasm can be defined as “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark, or a bitter gibe or taunt.”
Its distinctive quality is that it is more effective when spoken, as compared to written, because of the vocal inflexions that can give it greater emphasis. The first record of the term “sarcastic” was in 1695 when it referred to the use of sarcasm.
It is clear that with this form of comment the sarcastic content of a statement will be dependent upon the context in which it appears.
Cultural perspectives on sarcasm vary widely. Some cultures and linguistic groups find it offensive to varying degrees while others understand the sarcasm to really be a joke.
For example, Thomas Carlyle despised it: “Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, on the other hand, recognized in it a cry of pain: Sarcasm, he said, was “usually the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”
Those interpretations are much deeper than the oft quoted adage: “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.”
Our LifeDaily team has selected a few examples of sarcasm in action.
Check them out to see if you agree if they are witty or not:
- Now we know why some animals eat their own children.
- This is an excellent time for you to become a missing person.
- I’m busy now. Can I ignore you some other time?
- When I look into your eyes, I see straight through to the back of your head.
- A sharp tongue does not mean you have a keen mind.
- Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn’t have given you any worse advice.
- I’m glad to see you’re not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance.
- Are you always this stupid or are you making a special effort today.
- If you were twice as smart as you are now, you’d be absolutely stupid.
- That man is cruelly depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.
- I don’t know what makes you so dumb but it really works.
- I know you are nobody’s fool, but maybe someone will adopt you one day.
- Please, keep talking. I always yawn when I am interested.
- What he is lacking in intelligence, he more than makes up for in stupidity.
- Whatever it is that is eating you, it must be suffering horribly.
- He always finds himself lost in thought; it’s unfamiliar territory.
- You have an inferiority complex and it is fully justified.
- If we killed everybody who hates you, it wouldn’t be murder –it would be an apocalypse!
- You should do some soul-searching. You might just find one.
- You would never be able to live down to your reputation, but I see you’re doing your best.
Do you agree that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit after reading these examples?
Have you ever been on the receiving end of similar sarcastic remarks? Do you use sarcasm yourself?
You can share your thoughts and experiences by making use of the comments feed below.