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Um, No[edit]

Sarcasm does not have to be bitter, cutting, caustic or otherwise damaging. Sarcasm is the variance in meaning between what is stated and what is meant. While I'm happy to believe that it can be used in a negative manner, it is not necessary to do so.

I do suspect that many people, including the known to be jocular folks at the Oxford English, have only experienced negative sarcasm. However, is that really a surprise? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I am not surprised you know the people at the OED. I suggest you read the article on irony. Myrvin (talk) 12:50, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Wait what?[edit]

"Sarcasm [...] was created in America in 2010" No. --Melissia (talk) 12:40, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Gods of Sarcasm[edit]

I highly suggest we make a section in the article listing some of the most sarcastic people that are famous. Or, per se, characters in movies/books that are famous for their witty sarcasm. House, from House MD, would be an example. NOTE: I don't necessarily want this melodramatic title to be used. (talk) 13:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Vocally Goblin?[edit]

You're kidding me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone remember[edit]

When sarcasm itself was seen as an inherently funny concept, and used on sitcoms in the late 80s/early 90s in that capacity? Several Simpsons episodes have someone simply saying "I'm being sarcastic" and that's the entire joke.. similar to 'well duh.'

Or that Kids in the Hall sketch where Dave Foley talks with a sarcastic drawl, sarcastically claiming that he has a 'speech impediment' which prevents him from talking in a 'normal way' leaving the viewer, and straight man Kevin Mcdonald, wondering if he's telling the truth or actually being sarcastic. While interesting to discuss, I can't see how this applies to the article. --Thaddius 18:15, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
'nooo i was being sincere' - Bart Simpson —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elcaballooscuro (talkcontribs) 01:51, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, sarcasm still is a type of sence of humour. It is not widely practiced since most people don't understand what it is (it requires kind of counterintuitive thinking) or don't even distinguish it from irony (low IQ). It is practiced among friends and colleagues as sign of closeness and mutual understanding (this is the area where many inside jokes come from). The offencive meaning is only interpreted by people who are not close enough or with no sense of humour (like most authors of this article about sarcasm). It is more recognisable when it is done by comedians (you are expecting a joke in the first place) in sitcoms or standups. In standups there is even special kind of sarcasm - selfpisstake, that makes it even easier to follow and understand. It is mostly taken as offensive remark in online (most people are locked in serious discussions and not expecting any jokes at all) or by strangers in real life (again - not expecting any friendliness or jokes). I say "not widely practiced" but i have done some travelling in my time (in europe) and always meet people who are freindly, humorous and who do get it (who do not offend nor get offended by pisstake).--Longisle (talk) 22:35, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah hey, a "history of sarcasm" section would be appropriate if there were any sources which could substantiate the idea that it's risen in popularity. Also I have heard that the popularity of sarcasm varies from country to country; again if there were any source of defenitive information on the subject that would be nice to have in there. (talk) 02:37, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

"Oh a sarcasm detector, that must be a REAL useful invention" -- Homer Simpson (talk) 20:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Self sarcasm[edit]

Used mainly by comedians (so noone would be offended) refering to oneself or close family. For example: "Yesterday i went fishing with my brother and father. I don't care what they say about him, he is a good fisherman."--Longisle (talk) 22:46, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

"Double Sarcasm" or "sarcastic sarcasm"[edit]

I am surprised that this hasn't been better defined here. Perhaps we use it without noticing it. A good example of this would be: John is obviously working very, very hard, the obvious sarcasm would be "Hey John, stop slacking" Since this is too obvious a sarcasm to get any laughs or even be interesting, I might say instead "Hey John, Don't work too hard" with a heavy sarcastic tone as if I am using sarcasm to imply he is slacking, but since it is all too obvious that he isn't, this is a sarcasm used sarcastically. This of course only works if we understand the intent of the person using the double sarcasm, otherwise it just becomes confusing. Rules for double sarcasm: 1. Single sarcasm very obvious 2. Intent must be obvious —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hymie67 (talkcontribs) 07:33, 19 February 2007 (UTC).

That's an excellent idea! << (double sarcasm?) Nimur 22:59, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Double sarcasm could also mean a very serious response to a obvious sarcasm while knowing it is sarcasm e.g. Person A: What a bad investment, he invested $500k and made $400 million only. Person B: I am not Warren buffet but even I can understand that it is a very good yield on that small investment. also see urban dictionary--Anuraguniyal (talk) 15:23, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Sarcasm in other languages[edit]

I would be interested in seeing more information about sarcasm in other languages in this article if anyone has any info. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Spunkymcpunk (talkcontribs) 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC).

Dumbing down[edit]

I'm removing

This has been a recent development and is sign-posted as a dumbing down of literature by many within the British canon.

If anyone wants to unweasel-word it, fine.--Grimboy (talk) 01:44, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

This article could use some improvement[edit]

There are a bunch of problems with this article. I've corrected one I believe I should do without consultation: Sarcasm is mostly associated with the technique of substituting an intended meaning with the expression of its opposite; thus I've changed the introductory paragraph to better reflect this.

Secondly, if the article is titled 'Sarcasm,' I don't think the first section should also be titled that – it should present something distinctive.

Regarding the content of the second paragraph: I think that this is misrepresentative of most well-recognised literature. Certainly, web-speak and e-mail have presented a need to visually discern sarcasm, but skillful writers haven't traditionally required such a device and consequently the majority of sarcasm in well-known literature doesn't use italics and such because it doesn't need to. Shakespeare is definitely not a mere exception to the rule (as the article implies). Even though what I'm critical of in the article isn't sourced, I can't provide a source for my opinion so I won't edit it. But I reckon I'm right, so it would be good to look into that.

Anyway, surely there's more interesting things to say about sarcasm (in literary tradition) in addition to a couple of comments about its common employment in internet dialogue. The article as it is is a little bit trite by wikipedia standards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Et Amiti Gel (talkcontribs) 02:57, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

This article is non neutral[edit]

The quote represents a reactionary argument against a claim something along of the lines "Sarcasm is the tool of the weak and pathetic".

If a person cannot confront an opposing argument or wishes to falsely accuse someone of something, sarcasm allows them to fake confrontation. The target of the sarcastic remark is not clear on what is being said because by it's very nature it makes little or no sense to someone that doesn't already agree with it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I think this article should be revamped to NPOV policies. :) Kausill (talk) 08:44, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Am I Crazy?[edit]

I was heavily under the impression that sarcasm was simply a harsh, acidic comment meant to show disdain or give pain (if you're sarcastic towards a situation, it probably won't feel anything). However, the general concensus is that sarcasm is just saying the opposite of what is meant. I believe that is actually irony. While sarcasm is often associated with irony and satire, I contend that it is a very different concept and that this article is extremely misleading and probably furthers the misconceptions that many people have about the concept of sarcasm and its relationship with irony and humor.

I believe it must be derisive

I believe it does not have to be (though it can be) ironic, humorous, or satirical.


To look a girl straight in the eye and say, "That dress you're wearing is hideous," is a sarcastic comment. The opposite of the meaning would be that the dress is attractive, which is probably a positive thing, so it's safe to say that the comment is not ironic. In this example, sarcasm exists where irony does not. It's also not particularly humorous, but you could make an argument about that, I suppose.

I believe that this should be addressed. Perhaps a separate section explaining the relationship between irony and sarcasm or humor and sarcasm can be included, but it should be made clear that they are separate concepts.

I think that this should be looked into thoroughly.

-6/4/08 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:41, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I attempted to address this some time ago (see archive), postulating about the 'degrees' of sarcasm, from playful to cutting, but no one (including me) seems to have the knowledge or inclination to add to the article in that kind of way. You'll also note a few users commenting on the quality of the article... --Thaddius (talk) 15:35, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you're crazy (you did ask for it...) ;) From one of the citations: '[sarcasm is] a verbal form of irony'. Sarcasm has to be verbal (perhaps written, at a push); on the other hand, irony can be found in situations (for example). I recently read about an anti-gun activist who was stabbed to death. I found that pretty ironic, but it couldn't be sarcastic. Also, the example you gave isn't sarcasm, just an insult. Bridies (talk) 15:55, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
It's only ironic if he was pro-knife. (talk) 20:50, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Sarcasm means a cutting taunt, metaphorically tearing the flesh. Irony is often used for this purpose and so the two are confused. I have rewritten the lede from a good source to clarify this. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:43, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  • The dictionary lists sarcasm as: "a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on caustic, bitter, and often ironic language". The three are more-or-less synonymous with each other with very slight differences. For example, saying "Have fun," when someone is about to do something they're obviously NOT going to enjoy would simply be irony. However, straight-forward insults aren't sarcastic. It would be more sarcastic to say something like, "What a beautiful dress! Did Hellen Keller sew it special for you?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

What about the (!) symbol?[edit]

I remember that there used to be an article, or a section in Sarcasm that explained the usage of (!) to denote sarcasm in subtitles, and now that is gone. Is there a reason? I think it is an important piece of history; I think it should be put back in the article. Zhukant (talk) 02:13, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

But, according to my understanding of its usage "(!)" itself does not mean sarcasm, and yet when you search for that it redirects here. I think that redirection should be deleted, or else, a source cited to explain why it exists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BishopOcelot (talkcontribs) 14:11, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


The link to flippant is directed at pedia, when it's now at No idea how to insert an outside link as a blue word, so if someone could that would be dandy. VonBlade (talk) 22:31, 13 July 2008 (UTC). Not to be flippant;), but the "blue words" are called links.

In other languages[edit]

This article could use a section on sarcasm's prevalence in various languages. In English, the sarcastic "oh, great" is ubiquitous, but I've studied two Slavic languages where sarcasm is rarely if ever used. (talk) 15:58, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Yup. Notably, it should be mentioned that while sarcasm always has negative connotations in English, this is not the case in other languages. E.g., I witnessed an interaction where a French speaker attempted to congratulate a native English speaker on his witticisms by saying, "Oh, you are being sarcastic!" to which, needless to say, the native English speaker took offence (fortunately a number of us spoke French well enough to be able to identify the confusion and defuse the situation). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:12, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

I feel I should mention[edit]

This is my new favourite Wikpedia article.

MichaelKeefe 00:21, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Obviously people who don't understand Sarcasm really need wikipedia to explain it to them (talk) 14:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
No, really?~ Steneub (talk) 17:54, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Sarcasm in the Bible[edit]

The Bible records many uses of sarcasm, including that by God (Judges 10:14 & Job 38:4), and Elijah (1 Kings 18:27). (talk) 05:42, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


I have been through this article and most of it does not stand inspection - the sources are mostly dead or poor and much of the content has been tagged as OR. I shall therefore rewrite, retaining the good bits and discarding the rest. Colonel Warden (talk) 14:18, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

That's done now. The biggest issue seems to be the "lowest form of wit" crack. This was attributed to Wilde in the previous version but this attribution doesn't stand up. Any definite attribution will require an excellent source because the phrase has been passed around so much that its true source now seems obscure. Colonel Warden (talk) 15:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Is Gulliver's Travels considered Sarcasm, or merely Satire and Parody? Do the defintions and usage provide an answer to such a question? Perhaps there are scholars who have asked answered such a question. --Firefly322 (talk) 16:00, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
No doubt there's some sarcasm in there but I know it more for its satire on the current affairs of the time. We must be careful in starting to list examples as they may become a laundry list of modern examples such as Blackadder. To maintain a scholarly tone, I would prefer classical examples such as Socrates and the biblical examples mentioned above. Colonel Warden (talk) 16:13, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Is it appropriate to "maintain a scholarly tone"? Would it not be an achievement to create a explanation of Sarcasm that is itself an example of the subject it is explaining? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I notice that you give a criticism of the quote by Wilde, but you keep it in your own edit anyway. I don't understand why you would do this. Are you questioning the remark on the full quote being "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence"? Also, what was wrong with the examples of sarcasm that were included in the previous version? As long the examples can be considered sarcastic, they can be used without a reference. I need a clarification regarding their removal.Dburak (talk) 00:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I have kept that which can be supported by good sources. I looked hard for sources for the quote you give but could not find one which seemed adequate. Colonel Warden (talk) 23:04, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I removed the alleged Wilde quote. I was going to change it to: "A phrase apocryphally attributed to Oscar Wilde is that "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit", although a variant is that "Sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, but the highest form of wit"." but I really couldn't find good sources for this. Fences&Windows 18:22, 24 June 2009 (UTC)


Sarcasm mark was prodded. Instead, I think it should be merged here. Thoughts? Fences and windows (talk) 01:58, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Sarcasm as a debate fallacy[edit]

Sarcasm often implies you have something to say about a situation or idea, but that you conveniently cannot be bothered to share what it is. It is often used by people with a poor understanding of the situation or idea to express disagreement without opening their point of view to scrutiny (or even inquiry). However the purpose of communication is for people to compare ideas and decide which one is the best (ie communicate), so hostile sarcasm is fallacious. (In addition to being petty and childish) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

OK. Do you have a source for this? How should we add this to the article? Fences&Windows 22:23, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Literally anything can be used as a logical fallacy. That doesn't mean it all needs its own independent category. Almost every possible fallacy can already be filed in one or more existing categories. Exceptions exist, but this is not one of them. Sarcasm in a debate would almost always fall under the red herring fallacy. (talk) 01:50, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Sarcasm tags on message boards[edit]

[/sarcasm] is hardly widespread or an Internet norm. I think it should be remove.d —Preceding unsigned comment added by Failspy (talkcontribs) 19:55, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Sarcasm is actually a gramatical device to make one feel better. We dwell in a sarcastic world; filled with sarcastic promotions, television programs, people and slogans. Basically in this world there is no between; meaning either you are or you are not something. We live in a constant battle of who is the top dog. Everywhere we are bombarded by rude sarcastic stereotypes which never end. Always a sarcastic remark for no established reason. Him vs her, them vs them, he vs all those people. Yes sarcasm is used to control the eager one just in case he becomes the famous one. It's a terrible shame how insecure many people are that they have to make sure you don't succeed by blasting your will to survive and enhance yourself with ugly sarcastic comments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:45, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

New SarcMark[edit]

Hmm... I dont't yet know if it's Wikipedia-worthy, but some company is trying to redefine sarcasm with the "SarcMark" and selling unlimited print and digital use of it for 1.99 $USD. Soooo... It's really up to the rest of you. I don't mess with this stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Argo117 (talkcontribs) 05:27, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Karl Marx sarcasm[edit]

The article states that Karl Marx used [!] but in the text I've read it is (!). See examples here:,%20Chapter%205
Is this just a slight translation difference from reprinting the original text? Is there any text examples of Marx using brackets? I think the article should change [!] to (!) in reference to Karl Marx. (talk) 20:10, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Broken Link[edit]

The reference No.3 , to , "The Neuroanatomical Basis of Understanding Sarcasm and Its Relationship to Social Cognition", instead brings up a '404' page A Google search for that title brings up as the first result, it's only the abstract but its better than a 404 page... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Sarcasm and irony[edit]

The difference between these is not simple. In the Wiki world I read that irony can be sarcasm and that sarcasm uses irony. I have always followed the Usage and Abusage rule:

Irony consists in stating the contrary of what is meant. ... Irony must not be confused with sarcasm, which is direct: sarcasm means precisely what it says, but in a sharp, caustic, ... manner.

Wiki seems to disagree with this, which suggests to me that things are not as cut and dried as we may think. Myrvin (talk) 20:08, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

In particular, the introduction says that sarcasm is the use of irony. It cites the OED in support of this. As the footnote says, the OED has (in part): "A sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt. Now usually in generalized sense: Sarcastic language; sarcastic meaning or purpose." It does not mention irony in its definition, and should not be used to bolster the idea that sarcasm is only the use of irony. Please read the discussion pages and article on irony. Myrvin (talk) 13:53, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

The change to the intro by Jcrabb has removed my quotation and citation and replaced it with the uncited "psycholinguists generally agree now". I am reverting this. Also the word 'traditionally' is vague. As it happens, the removed quote is probably more 'traditional' - being older - than the Partridge one.

If there are psycholoinguistic sources to quote saying that irony is always involved in sarcasm - which I doubt - they can be included in the body of the article. The intro does not preclude this. Myrvin (talk) 06:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Sarcasm HTML/XML[edit]

Many times, the opening tag is omitted, due to the HTML tagging often being an afterthought.

This may be true in some cases, but I believe the general reason for the missing starting block is because many message boards will attempt to interpret the string as HTML. Not recognizing the tag, they simply remove all the text between the start and end tag. Excluding the opening tag prevents this behavior. (talk) 18:09, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

In any case, I believe this section should either be omitted or elaborated. I'm not su sure that the use of <sarcasm></sarcasm> is particularly common (More common than, say, <rant/> </rant>.) Rp (talk) 08:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
It's back again! This article is branching out into just being several people's personal views. Myrvin (talk) 09:22, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


sarcasm is a by product of self notice and understanding of who ever you are pointing the finger at. but can back firer if it is misunderstood or my favorite understood and hit with you with another sarcastic comment with ironnic sense, which can be hit back again which has not been done in normal convo unless pre-made a.k.a movies, shows etc. which must end in ironic irony which is bloody hard. which means the irony is that its ironic irony is a by product of self sarcasm at its best and has no meaning what so ever. unless is ironic, which is sad in a sense of undisirable understanding of one self. so my understanding is that sarcasm is a joke without a punch line. or burger without fries :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

can you make sarcastic sarcam[edit]

can you make sarcastic sarcasm, with one person? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:50, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Origin of the term[edit]

I am worried that the biblical examples here are not examples of the origin of the term. They may be early examples of what someone nowadays thinks is sarcasm - but the word 'sarcasm' does not appear. There may be a place for early examples, but we would need citations to say that they ARE examples of sarcasm. Just listing early examples does not add to our knowledge of the origins of the term. I think they should be deleted. Myrvin (talk) 19:41, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

I have now removed that text. Myrvin (talk) 20:56, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Now noticed that the Greek says sarchazo - what's that? Replaced with a cited etymology. Also questioning where the idea for what the Greeks used came form. Myrvin (talk) 09:01, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

There is a whole another possibility for the etymology of the word, which may or may not have been picked up on but definitely isn't mentioned in the article. Both and say:

1570s, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," lit. "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (gen. sarkos) "flesh," prop. "piece of meat," from PIE base *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Sarcastic is from 1690s.

Shouldn't the above be included in the section on origin?


It was there until a vandal mucked it up. I've put it back. Myrvin (talk) 09:15, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Sarcasm and irony 2[edit]

I really think the opening needs to brought up to date. Like it or not, the word "sarcasm" in its modern sense, does entail irony. A remark like "you're an idiot", isn't one people would recognise as "sarcastic" any more. Both COED and Merriam-Webster's insist a sarcastic remark is an ironic one. Other dictionaries say sarcasm is "usually" ironic. I also think it's a mistake to treat the OED as authoritative in such matters. It was never meant to be used in that way. The OED's function is to chart the way a word has developed over hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years; it provides definitions that are meant to explain a range of meanings, usually to people who are aware of the modern one: so my 1979 edition defines a computer as "one who computes, a calculator, reckoner..."; the first definition of "naughty" is "having or possessing naught". --Lo2u (TC) 19:16, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Several of us had all this out in great detail some time ago in irony. It's all archived now, but it was a no-holds-barred discussion. Talk:Irony/Archive 3. There were (among others) me saying that there must be some sarcasm that isn't ironic and a US psycholinguist saying that all sarcasm is irony. I would be interested in the complete definition from the COED, I don't have a copy. Of course the OED has the function you mention, but it never says what you say - that all sarcasm is irony. Is that really what the COED says? Doesn't Websters still say:

Sarcasm: 1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain. 2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual.?

That "often" is telling us that sometimes it is not. Anyway, after the war of words we seemed to settle on what we have now. It does say usually ironic. There is room in the text for you to cite people who say that sarcasm is always ironic. By the way, your example is a mere insult - not really sarcasm. Myrvin (talk) 07:50, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
A recent Chambers definition has:

language expressing scorn or contempt, often but not necessarily ironical; a jibe; the quality of such language. Myrvin (talk) 08:18, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

COED has "noun: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt: she didn’t like the note of sarcasm in his voice". I see the Chambers online dictionary has "an often ironical expression of scorn or contempt". Irony is what nearly everyone now understands by the term: I doubt one person in a hundred would object to the phrase "I was being sarcastic" on the grounds that the speaker should have said "ironic". The first sentence really needs to say that sarcasm usually entails irony; at the moment it is so broad that my example above would certainly count. Also I find this explanation confusing and wonder if its writer fully understood what he was trying to say: "irony and understatement is usually the immediate context". Taken literally it suggests sarcasm is only used in ironic situations, which is obviously ridiculous.--Lo2u (TC) 11:42, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes it does look rather academic, but I don't think it quite implies what you say. It looks like the COED has missed out the 'often' used elsewhere, But it IS used elsewhere. I'll have a go at changing it. Myrvin (talk) 11:53, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. That looks much better. By the way, I think the definition used previously was a rather confused attempt to distill the footnoted assertion that "Only people can be sarcastic, whereas situations are ironic" into an assertion that it isn't the language per se but the context that provides the irony. --Lo2u (TC) 12:09, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

New material[edit]

I am the second to remove the following:

However, suggesting that sarcasm is limited to general hostility and offensive behavior is just not true. Sarcasm is foremost an attention modification tool. People use it either to deliver a message that attempts to trigger an attention response right way or deliver a message that takes complicated associations to make - giving the user time to distance one self from whoever its being used on. For instance if you were preparing and absolutely obvious dish with everything inescapably observable, and somebody came and asked "what are you doing?" in a situation where the person can recognize what you were doing for less time than it takes to ask the question. Then you were to answer "Making the first tomato nuclear bomb, why? Did you think I was making a salad?" It could simply be used to break the cycle of boring or forced conversation. While some people might be insulted, it no way means its intended to be insulting. And your tone of voice can be appropriately playful. It still remains a sarcastic statement. Occasionally regular language norms and typical conversation threads lead people into frustrating verbal exchanges far more volatile than hazardous sarcasm. It certainly can occupy a solo function of linguistic diversity of not anything else. Typical sarcasm however is mostly based on the eye for an eye concept. If in the same salad situation were you irritated by the question and then wanted attempt to invoke irritation in your interlocutor you could respond by saying "I was going to put in some rat poison for flavor but we've seen to have run out." Is certainly going to be a challenging element and is to grab more attention on average than a simple statement of "I don't appreciate being asked questions with inescapably obvious answers, which I don't like to answer." Obviously you bare the risk of seriously insulting people unprepared or unwilling to manage that response without hostility.

Very distinctive characteristics of sarcastic application are : expectation defiance, pattern breaking, indirect challenge, pointing to contradiction/s as a means of attention calling and distraction. These effects are often achieved by insertion of contradictory terms or unacceptable statements, claims or questions. For instance if someone asked you "Is that switchman good for you?" and you responded "No, its going to explode my head off any second now." Its immediately to be recognized as sarcastic under the usual assumption that you do not want your head blown off, and further that the typical sandwich can't do that to you. Result being that it typically invokes increased attention due to notable disbelief in challenge of routine. Either way the applications of sarcasm are mostly limited to imagination. While many people use it to be rude to each other, it has lots of other potential as well. As many other language forms sarcasm also suffers from general deterioration due to societal preconceptions and fashionable beliefs.

Although there are no citations, and the English is poor, I think there may be something in what is being said. Both examples are in fact ironic I suppose, perhaps they are examples of irony being used without sarcasm. Anyway, we need citable sources for the idea.

PS What is a "switchman"? Myrvin (talk) 10:40, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Big change to lead[edit]

A large edit has altered the lead in a dramatic way. It seems now to be confusing sarcasm with irony again. We had long and hard discussions here and in irony before settling on their respective leads and content. The editor has found a reference (cited as merely "Google books") which seems to be talking about sarcasm in a very particular situation, rather than the general one that was originally at the top of the lead. The main definition of "insincerity" seems a radical reading even of the citation. The problem with what irony means has also been thrashed out before. I originally defined it as saying the exact opposite of what is meant while others argued for something subtler. We eventually settled on what irony now says.

Also, the new examples of sarcasm hardly seem hurtful at all. Surely, a remark is not sarcastic if it isn't meant to hurt. Saying "I'm making love to a tree" is a bit rude and ironic perhaps, but not exactly caustic. The citation says it must "offend".

Also, I don't understand what "a sarcastic answer would be "I'm making love to a tree." However, ironic terms would imply that the individual is not watching television but harming the tree" means. It seems to be saying that if I answer "I'm making love to a tree" and I'm being ironic, then I am actually making love to a tree - which is not the opposite at all.

I think what the lead used to say is better than what it says now, so I am reverting this good faith edit. It should give the more general definitions of a hurtful. cutting remark and then perhaps move to more specific usage - with better examples, e.g. from literature. There is room for this Google book idea (with a proper citation), perhaps in the Usage section.Myrvin (talk) 11:30, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Unsure why you reverted. Everything was well sourced. And the sources weren't applying it to specified terms, it described it as such in two separate examples as a general understanding of the term. What scholars are getting at in all these works is exactly what I had in the lead: the term "irony" is disputed because "irony" typically applies to the very opposite (which I sourced with multiple dictionaries and scholarly works, see here [2] ). I then gave the example that the opposite is not always what's implied with "sarcasm," but rather insincerity as various authors have noted as shown through my sources. I followed this up with an example of "sarcasm" where the opposite was not what was implied.
Also, to put the blanket statement that "sarcasm" is merely a harsh remark which what's implied by "caustic" and "cutting" is obviously false. You say that is the general understanding of the term, but that is not the general understanding of sarcasm. The general understanding of sarcasm is the twist of meaning it places to the words used and what has been said. Again, this was well sourced.
To top that off, there are a series of grammatical errors inundating your revert edit, such as with two periods, sources all spaced out, etc. My edit was lucid, easy to understand, accurate, well-sourced, and grammatically correct. Your edit does not get at the general understanding of the word, is complex, and has grammatical errors. AmericanDad86 (talk) 11:56, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

When you say "all these works", you actually only cite 3 new works, two of which refer to irony not sarcasm. The main problem for me is the use of "Contemporary Stylistics". In the Google Book version it is difficult to see just what is being written about since pages are missing. To say the original definition is "inherently false" is misuse of the word "inherent" ("existing in and inseparable from something else; innate; natural" - Chambers). There are many more references that say just what the lead said than you have cited. I didn't use the words "general understanding"; that seems to be what you are saying, and I disagree. It does seem that an extra comma has appeared at some time in the lead; but I don't see where the other grammtical errors are in the original short lead. Also, you have not addressed the confusion caused by your "ironic terms" statement.

I have reverted again. Please don't reinstate before we have heard from others here. Myrvin (talk) 12:22, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Forget it! It's unfortunate that you don't understand the general meaning of sarcasm and want to rub off your flawed meanings off on others. I have never seen someone describe a simple harsh remark as sarcasm in all my life. But I don't have the time to sit and argue with you about it back and forth. Goodbye! AmericanDad86 (talk) 12:28, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Insincerity definition[edit]

Myrvin, I know we've long resolved this debate on both of our talkpages, but I just wanted to note to you that I just looked on the Wiktionary's definition of sarcasm, and coincidentally enough, it coincides exactly with my definition. That is, sarcasm suggests the use of insincerity. Here's the Wiktionary definition which they have some manner of supporting through evidence: [3]. As I thought this was the popular meaning of it too, I wrote it in and then found two sources. You stated you were having a hard time understanding my source, but honestly I did not have a hard time understanding it. And not only that but it seems Wiktionary has had a definition that is similar to mine since forever. I paged back into its history and found that its been there for many years. AmericanDad86 (talk) 20:31, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

If you look on the Wiktionary Discussion page you will see my ancient criticism of the article. I was particularly concerned with its conflation with irony - a common confusion - but, looking at it now, I should have complained about the insincerity bit as well. I suggest you look at some published dictionaries to see what they say. My problem with your source - and it was only one (the others were about irony) - was that I didn't really understand what "to maintain or enhance the face of the recipient" means. It sounds like psychobabble. On your point about what the Wiktionary article used to say: A long time ago (2005) the Wikipedia page said:

Sarcasm is the making of remarks intended to mock the person referred to (who is normally the person addressed), a situation or thing. It is often used in a humorous manner and expressed through particular vocal intonations. This is often done by simply over-emphasizing the actual statement, or particular words of it. .... The term is often misused as a synonym for irony. Irony refers however to the literal meaning and the intended meaning of the words uttered being different, while sarcasm refers to the mocking intent of the utterance. It is possible to be ironic without being sarcastic, and to be sarcastic without being ironic.

It doesn't mention insincerity - perhaps it never has. Maybe few people look at Wiktionary. Myrvin (talk) 07:35, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I don't think you could have checked the "evidence" in the Wiktionary article. They cite this site: [4], which gives 29 different online definitions. None of them mention insincerity. That article certainly needs fixing. Myrvin (talk) 08:04, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
I found another reference to "face" here, [5]. It says "Obviously, sarcasm, in order to be effective, requires something more than mock, or insincere, impoliteness." These "face" ideas seem to come from the field of Pragmatics or sociolinguistics - not areas I know much about. Perhaps you do. Myrvin (talk) 08:34, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Here's another ref from that field: [6]. It complains that Leech (an originator of this stuff) shouldn't confuse sarcasm with irony. Myrvin (talk) 09:41, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

copyvio in Understanding section[edit]

The entire first paragraph of the "Understanding" section seems to have been lifted from this article:

I do not want to delete it, nor tag it with subst:copyvio template, (& I don't have time for this right now), so hopefully someone more knowledgeable of the subject will re-write.

Grye (talk) 04:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Changes by Facetiousism[edit]

I have reverted several changes by this editor. Most were uncited. However, the one that refers to Talk is Cheap is cited and is worth saying more about. I cannot find the actual quotation cited here [7], but a page number wasn't given, so I may have missed it. Myrvin (talk) 15:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

I think there was something from this book on the page before. I can't find the quotation, and no reference to "true lie". The writer seems to make the common US(?) linguistics assumption that sarcasm is always ironic. Others do not agree - sarcasm can mean just what it says in order to be mean. See the discussion on this in irony and its talk pages. I think this view should be in this article somewhere - perhaps in "Usage". I'll work on it. Moving the way sarcasm is used to before its definition is really not a good ides. We need to know what it is before being told how it is used. Myrvin (talk) 16:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this is US-specific. To what extent is this a matter of incorrect definition, rather than difference in usage? Wouldn't the author of Talk is cheap agree to qualify many of Winston Churchill's quips as sarcastic, even when they do not state the opposite of what they mean? Rp (talk) 18:44, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
The definitions given by appear pretty good - wouldn't it be better to just quote them in the introduction, rather than the stabs at it that we have right now? Rp (talk) 18:44, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

edit request[edit]

(Add to "understanding" section):

In June 2014, the United States Secret Service requested bids for software that would identify sarcasm in tweets.[1]

  1. ^ [1] (talk) 16:51, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks, Older and ... well older (talk) 19:14, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Shouldn't this be in the Identifying sarcasm section? Myrvin (talk) 20:12, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Feel free. There is nothing special about an edit done using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. Regards, Older and ... well older (talk) 23:32, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Done it. Didn't want to tread on your toes. Myrvin (talk) 06:37, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I enjoy collaborative work enough to be pretty thick-skinned, but thanks for being thoughtful. Regards, Older and ... well older (talk) 13:48, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 June 2014[edit]

"although sarcasm is not necessarily ironic" should be deleted. The citation states the opposite, that not all irony is sarcasm. However, in the definition below it clearly states sarcasm is a form of irony. HyrumBeck (talk) 06:48, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Which citation is that? The one in the article against those words says: "Irony must not be confused with sarcasm, which is direct: sarcasm means precisely what it says, but in a sharp, caustic, ... manner." I suggest you read irony#Verbal irony and sarcasm Myrvin (talk) 09:41, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 12:11, 17 June 2014 (UTC)


An edit has been made - which I reverted - using the Turkish phrase "Çok uslu(!) bir çocuk" meaning "Such a well behaved child" in a sarcastic way. I reverted, saying that it was irony and not sarcasm. It seemed that it meant the opposite of what it was saying, ie. This child is not well-behaved. The reversion was put back again, but with an entirely different phrase: "Bu benim sınıfta kalan akıllı(!)oğlum" meaning "This is my intelligent child, who failed his class, with a citation to a Turkish book. The question is, is this new phrase irony, or just sarcasm. The editor says it is sarcasm because it is an insult. Few people on English WP can check the source, which, to be useful here, must actually say that the phrase is sarcasm. Myrvin (talk) 07:54, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I urge the editor to read irony, where, it says "Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed.". Also irony#Verbal irony and sarcasm. Surely this is a more appropriate place. Anyway, using a non-English citation in the English WP is very dodgy. How can it be checked as an RS and that it says this phrase is sarcasm? We at least need a translated quotation that says this is a sarcasm point. Myrvin (talk) 09:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Citation for Turkish language is from a language authority stating that (!) is the official and formal punctuation for sarcasm in Turkish. The sentence example is obtained from Brooklyn College text stating the difference between Irony and Sarcasm. The example I entered in Wikipedia is in the Sarcasm section. "Sarcasm is praise which is really an insult; sarcasm generally involves malice, the desire to put someone down, e.g., "This is my brilliant son, who failed out of college." " Not sure why you think this sentence is not about sarcasm. Triksel
I think you are new to WP - if so, welcome. If there is an official Turkish point for sarcasm, then we could put it in. However, we need a citation, which we can verify, that says so. Your reference to the website doesn't point to the place where this is said. Find the actual page and include it in the citation. Do it like this [8], but with the actual page url. If you read irony, you will see that there are various definitions of irony and sarcasm. The one you quote is not the only one. Did you actually translate the Brooklyn phrase into Turkish? If you want, put the page url on this talk page, and I'll include it in the reference for you. Myrvin (talk) 19:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
It would be nice to have an actual example (i.e. not made up for illustration purposes) from a quotable source (e.g. book, newspaper). Rp (talk) 22:09, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 March 2015[edit]

Portrait of kazuma

2601:9:4E80:D13:842B:5DE8:FD1A:8EC0 (talk) 02:59, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 03:14, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 December 2015[edit]

StivyP (talk) 18:48, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

"SARCASM" ... has no relation in any way to "Witticism" ... which is listed and provided. There is no relationship whatsoever, the mistake of many who believe the two are similar. StivyP (talk) 18:48, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

What is the exact wording you would suggest? Where in the article do you think it should go? Uanfala (talk) 00:30, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

New category[edit]

I've been thinking of creating a category (and possibly also a navigation template) that will include Sarcasm, Innuendo, Doublespeak and simlar phenomena where the underlying meaning of a message is very different from the ostensible one. Any thoughts? I'm not sure how to call it though. What is the generic term for these? Uanfala (talk) 12:19, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

New Meaning of Sarcasm[edit]

I propose that the meaning of Sarcasm be expanded based on recent presidential campaign examples as it seems that a major presidential candidate is using the term to describe outrageous untrue statements stated as a matter of fact, then walked back days later after significant uproar by the public and slip in polling. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 February 2017[edit] (talk) 18:35, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

desined by Saleh lukyamuzi ssenyondo.

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. EvergreenFir (talk) 20:19, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 1 April 2017[edit]

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. ActuallyTheFakeJTP (talkcontribs)(April Fools!) 17:47, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 April 2017[edit]

Please add the following text to the Vocal Indication section: "In Amharic, rising intonation is used."[1]

Future wishes: Also, I propose that as more language data becomes available, that the Vocal Indication section (which seems to be the only method of indicating sarcasm listed on this page) be expanded into other sections. There are many ways to indicate sarcasm, including facial expressions (in spoken and sign languages), violation of the Cooperative Principle (usually Quality), and morphological indicators (Amharic does this as well[1] via a prefix on the verb, but as there is no relevant section for this it should be omitted for now).

Since this page is grouped under "WikiProject Comedy", perhaps there should be a page for Sarcasm (general) and Sarcasm (linguistics) once more data is available. Blipsnchitz (talk) 20:27, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

 Done. Betam exeryistalegn!  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  09:30, 2 June 2017 (UTC)



  1. ^ a b Leslau, Wolf. Reference Grammar of Amharic. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1995. 45. Print.