spritieSILVER Member
2,014 posts
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

SarcasmSo Ive been wondering lately about the use of sarcasm in our daily interactions with people. Is this something that should be used between good friends? When is the appropriate time to use it? What situations tend to prompt us to react with sarcasm?

I started off by looking up the definition (from m-w.com)
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 b : the use or language of sarcasm

If the desired effect is to cut or to give pain, it would seem to me that you wouldnt be sarcastic with good friends because you dont want to hurt them in any way. Based on these definitions, Im not sure there is an appropriate time to use it. At least I was taught if you cant say something good about someone else, dont say anything at all. It seems the only appropriate time (according to the definition) to use it is when talking badly about someone else. hmmm...

Ive noticed sarcasm gets used quite often in society though. Why? Is it a defense mechanism? How do you feel when someone is being sarcastic to you? Do you enjoy it? Do you take it in good fun, or are you hurt by what they said?

Ive been guilty of being sarcastic on occasion as well, so Im not immune, but I have begun to wonder what prompts these responses in me. Im not happy to realize some of the time Im sarcastic because I want to appear better than someone else or that I have something I think is better than what they have. Now that Im aware of this, I definitely plan on rectifying that, and possibly removing sarcasm from my daily interactions altogether. Id much rather have a positive outlook than try to cut someone or something down.

I was just wondering what the rest of you thought about sarcasm in society today, how it makes you feel, and why its use is so prevalent at times.

AlfredSILVER Member
Altyd Brandend
149 posts
Location: Orange County, California, USA

"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" "Sarcasm is the last spasms of a rotting brain" and many other nasty things have been said 'bout sarcasm.Sarcasm,like any other form of humor,it all depends on the intent of the sarcasm.

If i make a sarcastic coment to a friend or they to me,its all in good fun.And they take it as that.It is also the Sarcastic persons responsibility to know your audience (social instict will tell you) not everybody appreateates dry/bitter/straightface/sarcasm. Just like some people dont like "knock-knock" jokes.

I used to be more sarcastic when i lived in South Africa,but since i moved to California i found people take joke much more personal so i dont use it anymore.No skin off my teeth.

Spinning makes my world go round

gitaSILVER Member
.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
3,777 posts
Location: brizvegas, Australia

sarcasm? i never use sarcasm...


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if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! :grin: it confuses people!

Tao StarPooh-Bah
1,662 posts
Location: Bristol

a major part of my humour is cutting and uneccesary insults at people. I try to make sure first that they know i love them though. I don't just wildly throw sarcasm around the house, it is a powerful weapon of humour, to be used carfeully....

I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

flidBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,136 posts
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

hah, i just got "sarcasm is the lowest form of wit"! It's sarcastic isn't it?

CantusSILVER Member
Tantamount to fatuity
15,965 posts
Location: Down the road, United Kingdom

People seem to assume I'm being sarcastic a lot of the time. Which can be somewhat taxing....

*trying hard not to make silly comments. Continually muttering:* Social Discussion is not the place for humour....

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

DomBRONZE Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
3,009 posts
Location: Bristol, UK

My opinion is that negative humor should be kept to a low level, regardless of intention or target, and should be outweighed by positive comments. Even if intended as a joke an insult or negative comment is still just that - negative. Negativity builds up and sooner or later it will affect the receiver. I think it often (but not always) is making yourself feel better at the expense of another - and there's no reason or excuse for that.

And I think it's an easy & lazy way of getting a laugh. Please try harder. (Although this is maybe why I'm not very funny?)

Yoko Ono suggest that we try not saying anything negative about anyone for a day, a week, a month and then 3 months and see what effect it has on our lives. I've still to give it a go for a long time but think she's got a great idea.

Be excellent to each other.

PrometheusDiamond In The Rough
459 posts
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Sarcasm, like pain or fear, gets a bad rap.

Think of it as playful aggression, or 'the cynicism of humor.' Sarcasm can be delivered in a light-hearted, masterful way, like Alan Alda in MASH or it can be brutally candid, like George Carlin. Either way, it is a valid and effective form of humor, given the right context.

Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

nearly_all_goneSILVER Member
1,626 posts
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

I'm quite a sarcastic person, but I think it's a defensive thing.

I'm no Chandler Bing, but there's not a day where I'm not sarcastic at least once. It's just how I am.. my friends have always used sarcasm, my brother always did when I was little (although I didn't understand it then) and now I use it.

I think I'll try and stop though. I guess people who don't know me think I'm a bit of an arse due to it. Thanks for drawing my attention to it with this thread!

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.

OrangeBoboSILVER Member
1,389 posts
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Written by: Dom

Yoko Ono suggest that we try not saying anything negative about anyone for a day, a week, a month and then 3 months and see what effect it has on our lives. I've still to give it a go for a long time but think she's got a great idea.

Yes, but then you'd have to decide which was more important: being nice, and not saying anything negative, or not tell the truth because it might come across as negative.

If a friend of mine comes up to me with absolutely horrible make-up or clothing on, and asks me how I like it... I would rather be honest, and say that I didn't like it, but if they did, and felt comfortable in it, then they sould go along and do what they will. But that was a negative comment.

I think I prefer honesty to all round niceness... My friends know sometimes I am painfully (and tactlessly as my best friend put it once!) blunt with things, but in the end they figure out why I said it, and wonder why they flipped out over it so much. Dom, I think you have said the same thing about yourself and your friends... So if you already know you do things like that, how will you go about following Yoko's suggestion?

~ Bobo

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du fehlst hier

spritieSILVER Member
2,014 posts
Location: Galveston, TX, USA

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. It seems different people feel differently about this topic, so it's good to hear comments from the other side as well. My feelings are much more like Dom's because I've been hurt too often by misinterpreting someone's meaning.

hug for all.

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