July 17, 2013 by thejalebichronicles
Systematically Haphazard: Organized snippets of jumbled of randomness.
Sarcasm is as widely used today as language is. The Greek root of the word sarcasm is sarkazein, meaning to tear flesh like dogs. Surprising, don’t you think? Acerbic comments are used for a wide variety of purposes that include humour, veiled criticism and contempt. Scientists have recently discovered that children understand sarcasm even before entering kindergarten and not doing so could be an early warning sign of brain disease. So why is sarcasm so important to us and plays such a fundamental role in dialogue?
Sarcasm smooths out social interaction and its usage is linked to higher I.Q levels, studies show. An angry comment (your music is terrible and too loud, turn it down) versus a sarcastic one (I LOVE your taste in music, why don’t you turn it up?) sounds nastier and is more likely to cause friction. Yelling is also known to dim creativity, so any alternative suddenly seems like a brighter prospect.
Don’t think this means you can start using sarcasm all the time, however sarcasm works on a heavy understanding of paralanguage ie; intonation, inverse pitch obtrusion and stressing on certain words. And therefore, many people such as autistic children would never grasp its usage. Many children also depend heavily on verbal versus nonverbal cues and this gives them mixed messages. For example, if a child is told that their parent LOVES the way they scream at home, he is likely to believe that they are telling the truth and might do so again. Parents thus lose a chance to communicate effectively and build a rapport with their children.
Sarcasm- The Perfect tool? WRONG!
Sarcasm can be cruel, malignant and hard to accept. It is generally seen as humour but can easily hurt feelings. It is an attempt to disguise emotions and pretend approval when in reality; the opposite message is trying to be conveyed. There is also tremendous potential to misunderstand it and can sometimes indicate a lack of courage to say something to a person directly. Often used as a ‘distancing’ maneouver, (Yes, I love her company, we’re the best of friends, don’t you know?) it sets a person up as a superior individual as compared to others around.
Eliminating sarcasm from daily vocabulary is hard, but not impossible. Stooping to use it may seem to help in situations, but in reality, is unfair and humour is created, at the expense of a targeted individual.
Swearing is generally seen as unacceptable around children, but the effects of sarcasm are much more damaging than the former can ever be.
After all what’s worse in a child; a potty mouth or a cruel tongue?
‘Sarcasm is the highest form of intelligence, but the lowest form of wit’ – Anonymous
– Alaric Moras