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Thread: Handling Sarcasm

  1. #1 Handling Sarcasm 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I just added a signature to my profile. I've said it here before, I love sarcasm. Whether directed towards me or if I'm guilty of attempting it, I can't help but like it. Is there a more subtle form of humor than irony?

    What do you do to indicate that you've been had? How do you acknowledge receipt of some good sarcasm? One can either announce their appreciation of it by either directly complimenting the messenger or delivering a sarcastic response of their own. Imitation being the sincerest part of flattery.

    Unfortunately not everyone knows when its happening all the time. Some sarcasm is deep and well thought out but most of it seems to be designed to elicit a response or to let other members see the irony of a statement. Most of all I think it is meant to be funny, although the receiver may not think so. Most of the time when I receive I think of how I probably deserved it. That's the attitude I take.

    So why is it done in the first place? What part of our psyche wants us to convey a message that is subtle, humorous and for lack of anything better, mildly insulting? How do you handle it? How should others? Is it within the boundaries of fair play and internet forum protocol?


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
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    isn't sarcasm generally used to insult someone's intelligence or laugh silently at their ignorance.

    If it goes over the receiver's head then no real communication is achieved. And who ever delivered it is just entertaining himself in a smug manner.


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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    It is said that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit........


    But it is still wit.
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  5. #4  
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    Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said that.
    He was probably being sarcastic, the "nothing to declare but my genius" smug intellectual snob that he was etc
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  6. #5  
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    Nice thread.
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  7. #6  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    ^Lol.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Nice thread.


    Why did it take so long?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  9. #8  
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    I Don’t know if there is a more subtle form of humor than irony. I would guess subtle humor generally relies on irony.

    “Why is it done?”
    Because we are gluttons for complexity, for intellectual experience.
    Perhaps one reason complexity in humor works is because our mind winds tight like a spring when calculating or solving. In humor, after some contemplation, the answer arrives and it is a surprise, unexpected, non-linear, maybe trivial and the tension is released suddenly with a laugh

    “is it within the boundaries of fair play”
    That’s a matter of taste
    I would vote that it be banned altogether. Internet Trolls use it the most on forums, don’t they. But I suppose they use it to be annoying, not to be humorous….
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedronaut
    I would vote that it be banned altogether. ….
    Irony is one of many language tools. Eliminate it and the richness of communication is lessened. Since this is a discussion forum surely anything which enhances communication is to be applauded.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore Alex-The Great's Avatar
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    And grandpa i'm the one most aqquited with it.............
    "Universe is not as weird as you think it is weirder than you can ever,ever think"- Ophiolite(My Grandpa)
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
    - Prof. Stephen W. Hawking
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  12. #11  
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    I suppose banned altogether is a bit extreme. I just tend to find sarcasm smug, offensive, pretentious.

    Does it enhance the science or the aesthetics of discussion??
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  13. #12  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedronaut
    Does it enhance the science or the aesthetics of discussion??
    While this is a science forum, it is also a debating forum. Sarcasm is a valid tool in debate.

    Nicely crafted sarcasm can enhance the aesthetics of a debate precisely because it is nicely crafted. I still recall with pleasure the put down at a university debate of a heckler by the active speaker - "Ignore that man. He wanted to be a sex maniac, but he failed the medical."
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  14. #13  
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    Yeah that was a good put down, I must keep it for my next public speaking event. All the same the sarcasm in your example was used to insult, but it was fairplay on that occassion.

    The OP asks about sarcasm and internet forum protocol;
    Tone of voice is important with sarcasm to emphasise the irony and communicate clearly, unless the words are blatantly obvious on their own.
    I imagine overly subtle sarcasm on internet forums, could go un-noticed and create confusion
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  15. #14  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedronaut
    I imagine overly subtle sarcasm on internet forums, could go un-noticed and create confusion
    Everyone should have a hobby.
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