The Art of Sarcasm

Sarcasm is often time seen by many as a rather crude form of humour. It can very well be awfully hurtful and difficult to endure; despite it being intended as humorous, it often time relies on belittling and demeaning people, making them feel somewhat worthless. Thus, it is not always appreciated, and it is a good idea for one to learn how to protect themselves from its crude nature. It is crucial to understand that sarcasm, really and truly, is uttering that which is untrue, mainly to draw a sense of ridicule.

Aggression, Mockery or a Joke?

When sarcasm is used in an aggressive manner often time to elevate the humoristic effect, the exaggeration itself can be seen as stupid and ridiculous, thus demeaning the sense of humour altogether. Despite the sense of absurdity, some people lap up to sarcasm, as they feel they are in a position to appreciate the stupidity and are able to bring out the mockery in the sarcastic comment. An overweight person may either be hurt or choose to laugh off a comment of the likes of ‘Make sure you remember to eat, else you’ll risk starving yourself!’

It is a tough feat distinguishing between sarcasm and a downright mean comment, which is why it is so hard to appreciate sarcastic comments, especially when written down. This is because, differing to the written form, sarcastic comments carried out orally will usually contain a principal indicator which is a type of vocal inflection, pregnant with irony.

Good Intentions

The above brings us to a critical question, why do people choose to use sarcasm for humoristic effect? Several reasons pop up as to why, as well as the chosen nature of sarcasm. Some extreme sarcasm is intentionally upsetting and insistent on belittling and hurting the receiver. It is quite common to scream ‘Brilliant!’, when something is clearly not, or to say ‘No big deal’ or ‘Well, that worked out well!’, even though something very clearly is gnawing away at you and when everything just seems to be going downhill. Mostly, though, it is designed with the intention to humour, and is thus persistent in sarcasm, not just directed at the receiver, but also about themselves and others.

If, on the other hand, the sarcasm is directed towards you, full of mimicking and other such un-pleasantries, then it would be a good idea to learn how to deal with such behaviour. Such hurtful behaviour might not be intended by the person responsible of such utterances, so it would be a wise idea to deal with the sarcasm in a pleasant, gentle way, aiming to correct the thwarted behaviour. Malicious behaviour, however, should not be tackled lightly and must be stopped – after all, the word ‘sarcasm’ originates from the Greek meaning for the ‘tearing of flesh, gnashing of teeth, and bitter speech’.

For some people, sarcasm is merely a way of life and getting by through the day-to-day turmoil, at times at other people’s expense, which is why it’s healthy to point out any possible hurtful words and wrongdoings should they make you feel inadequate.