I don’t like sarcasm. I think it is a very easy form of humor, like slapstick. You just need to invert meaning, and voila! You have made a (quasi-humorous) joke. People who are very sarcastic, seem to me that they have a difficulty expressing how they feel. I realize I use it wrong. I tend to use it when I’m mad at someone and trying to show how their expressions appear in another light. It’s not a strong point. I know when I’m getting sarcastic that I’m resorting to weaker forms of rhetoric.
I’ve gotten a lot of flack for not liking sarcasm. I just don’t know why. This is the Mirriam-Webster definition:
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
People who I consider very nice are appalled when I say I don’t like sarcasm. To them, it’s like I’m proclaiming a love of Los Angeles, or a willingness to vote for Bush. The thing is, when you read the definition of sarcasm, you realize: it’s like saying you don’t like murder. So what happened so that nice people like sarcasm? I think the “wit” aspect got up-played recently, and the “mean-to-people” (negative sarcasm or ridicule) got down-played. To me, though, sarcastic people have always just been hiding their real feelings. If someone has an excessively dry wit, I just get very, very tired. I wish they would just say what they mean and not turn everything into a deflecting device. It’s like being caught in “The Importance of Being Earnest.” I’d be the blowsy maid storming in asking everyone to please just say what they mean.
They say (really, it’s unaccredited) “Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor and the highest form of wit.” I find it strange that low forms of humor are competitive: I also found a reference to puns as the lowest form of humor, and slapstick, I think we can all agree, is pretty damned low.
On Match.com, I slowly realized that it was bad to say I didn’t like sarcasm in my profile. I actually got a guy emailing me saying “I don’t think we’re compatible because you don’t like sarcasm.” Funny, if he was so in love with sarcasm he should have written, “I love you!” “I think you’re the bees’ knees!”
There are tons of other forms of humor. I’m not saying that I don’t occasionally fall off the wagon. Sure, sometimes you’ll see me telling someone, “Oh, I’d love to work on the annual conversion reports instead of going out tonight.” But it’s only because I’m energy-free and lack creativity.
And finally: can we just not write sarcastically on chat and in emails? Or, just add the (!) or something to make it sarcastic.