sarcasm

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sarcasm

Postby rita » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:55 pm

i wonder how many of youhere can't seem to get sarcasm. i have trouble understanding it when i read it in a dialogue because there aren't any non verbal cues, like a caustic tone or a sardonic smile.

how do you fare in real life situations, i could easily mistake surliness for sarcasm... it can be rather confusing.
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Postby parnassus » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:13 pm

i have trouble understanding it when i read it in a dialogue because there aren't any non verbal cues, like a caustic tone or a sardonic smile.


I understand it perfectly when I read it in dialogue; I should imagine that most dyspraxic people would. Sarcasm in dialogue can be overt ("Yeah, they'd love to have me," Harry said sarcastically. "We'd be best pals if they didn't keep trying to do me in!"), implied ("Tripe, Sybil?" Professor McGonagall asked, poking her spoon in a large tureen), or so deeply subtle that we pass beyond sarcasm into irony ("Yet Brutus is an honourable man"). I am able to work out that Professor McGonagall has a low opinion of Professor Trelawney and greets her ideas with sarcasm because of the loaded question and J.K. Rowling's description of McGonagall's face - she calls it disdainful on more than one occasion. I can even detect Mark Anthony's much subtler brand of grim sarcasm through the juxtaposition of 'honourable man' with the litany of Caesar's qualities. It soon becomes clear where Mark Anthony's loyalties lie.

In short, I use verbal cues.

But I can't always detect sarcasm in real life, although I have improved a lot. It is very difficult for me to work out whether a smile is sardonic or genuine - there is no commentator hovering at my shoulder waiting to whisper, "She smiled disdainfully." I also have great difficulty differentiating between various tones of voice. This is presumably because dyspraxia is a non-verbal learning disorder. Consequently, verbal cues make sense whereas non-verbal cues are part of a tangled, terrifying social enigma.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:57 pm

Im very gulliable and tend to believe everything pl tell me! I also take evrything literally- ppl will often joke but I'll think that they mean it!
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Postby madame_tigre » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:14 pm

I too can understand sarcasm if it's in dialogue. I can also detect sarcasm it's said in an obviously jokey manner

E.g X: So, did you go to the dentists this morning?
Y: No! I went to Planet Zog instead!

Other than that, I find it very difficult to know when somebody is being sarcastic and can appear extremely gullible. I admit, I have improved, but I really dislike the use of sarcasm - it's the lowest form of wit!

Knowing when people are lying or deceiving me is another thing I struggle with. I've improved on this as well, but I just wish everybody could just tell the truth-it will make life a whole lot easier!
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Postby C » Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:31 pm

I'm really gulliable too, although I am getting better. And I have trouble with sarcasm too, although I use it myself occasionally and sometimes I understand it.

I usualy understand it when I go over the conversation in hindsight, in my head. It seems really obvious then. But at the time, it's like my brain can't take in the fact that somebody would say something that's not true!
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Postby _C_ » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:29 pm

I will admit - i am extremely sarcastic and quite ironic. Because of this ive learnt to recognise it both verbally and non verbally and i can also detect irony as well.

tip - listen out for sarcasm and then try it yourself or adopt a sarcastic tone of voice when talking and when typing- over dramatise and use the roll eye smileys! Also DUH! is a fab phrase! After a while it will become second nature!
it took 2months to learn and only 2 minutes to execute it!
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:38 pm

I don't have that problem any more, but I did when I was younger. I also sometimes used to take idioms literally: I once got in trouble over my apparently "cheeky" interpretation of an instruction to pull my socks up!
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Postby parnassus » Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:41 pm

I don't think DUH is a fab phrase at all. I think it sounds horribly insulting, presumably because I generally hear it used to belittle people.

Classmate: Turn left at the crossroads. You can't miss it.

Me (gesturing tentatively with what luckily turns out to be my left): This?

Classmate: Well, duh!

To borrow a cliche, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the highest form of vulgarity. I don't want to use it. I used to try, because I thought 'practice' would help me to recognize it. Then I started to listen to the kind of things I was saying, and I knew that there was no way on God's earth I could keep it up. Sarcasm, to my ears, is just plain nasty.

I don't mind irony, but there is a difference between the two.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:17 am

I like saracsm as long as its not used nastily- that is possible, lol! I can use it, its just that Im often not quick enough in a conversation to pick up on it and have a comeback! But, like Bibliophile, I always think 10 minutes later- damn, I could have said such and such! Tis a tad frustrating!! GGGRRRRR! :evil:
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Postby monkey » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:00 pm

I can use sucasum if i know taht it is being used. my friends usualy tell me if somethings a joke to prevent convusion then i reply aproperatly :P if you want to call it that. my best friend pokes his toung at me and i have learnt that to mean 'im not serious this is a joke' but then im going on teh assumption that jokes and sucasum are the same thing.

my friend who is very very smart made a ltille mistake which people around thought was funny, i laughed too, then said 'your smart' which is true but i did that tone and he thought it was funny and bit my arm.

from hwat ive picked up with sarcasm is that it is when you say somthing that is oppisite to what is true in the situation, but can be ture about the preson, like 'your smart'. in books its very funny, in real life it can be confusing. as for learning about it, i enjoy learning about things like sarcasm and jokes. when i was a child i had one joke that i repated continuisly to thouse around me becuase people laughed when i said it. i used to strugle to understand why they stoped laughing after i had repeated it over and over to them, logicly if some one found somthing funny once you would assume that it is there for funny to them all the time. i now understand why it isnt funny again and again (thank goodness i must have been very iritating ), and im glad ive learnt this :) . when i first figgered this out i then set out to memorisse as many jokes as i could to repeat to people. i did this because people like to laugh and people like to hang around with perople who make them laugh. i can only remember a few of thsoe jokes now becuase i have learnt much better ways to get on with people. sacams seems to be just a more sutle way of telling a joke, its different becuase you dont have to tell a story with it, so you can use it when ever you like.

but then there can be misunderstandings to. one of my friends i didnt get on with be cuase she always seembed to be anoyed at me and i couldnt understand why or what i was doing. i found this fustratiting and confusing , she was so intence that i would grow anxious. she would tell me off for everything and i felt bad and didnt know how to respond. i have resently found out that i have misinterperated all of it and that she was never being serious but jokiing. this has helped and she was suprised to find that i had been taking her seriously. now she always tells me when she is joking so we are getting on better now even if i dont alwasy understand. becuase of this im learning more about what joking means and how to use it. i look forward to the day when i can compleatly blend in, learning about all these things is just a step towards that.
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Postby fuzzy » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:46 pm

When I started with my tour company last year, one of the guides that was training me told me in a perfectly serious manner that some ghosts in the Vaults where I work have a nasty habit of following ppl home. I ofcourse believed him and stayed up half the night terrifyed! It took me about six months to realsie that he was in fact piss taking- I can laugh about it now but at the time they must have all thought I was an absoulute idiot, lol!! :oops: :oops:
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Postby monkey » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:20 pm

that must have been imbarising. but its funny too when you look back on things like that :)
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Postby C » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:11 pm

monkey wrote:one of my friends i didnt get on with be cuase she always seembed to be anoyed at me and i couldnt understand why or what i was doing. i found this fustratiting and confusing , she was so intence that i would grow anxious. she would tell me off for everything and i felt bad and didnt know how to respond. i have resently found out that i have misinterperated all of it and that she was never being serious but jokiing. this has helped and she was suprised to find that i had been taking her seriously.


This is one of the things I don't understand about the way 'friends' seem to work. In my mind if I like someone and am their friend I say nice things about them, however I have been informed that mikey-taking and being rude about someone is 'what friends do'.

I am not being sexist but I can understand this theory more in boys as, in general, I believe that taking the mickey out of each other is one of the way males bond with each other. But girls are meant to be the kinder, more caring gender (okay, this is blatant gender stereotyping here, sorry boys!)

I just don't understand why people say horrible things about peopel who are supposed to be their friends and then get annoyed when I take it seriously. And when I don't take it seriously and laugh the liklihood is that's the one time they are being serious, and mean what they say! Am I the only person to be confused about this?
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Postby parnassus » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:28 pm

No, you most definitely are not! I used to get puzzled and upset by this as well. I never knew whether the misunderstandings arose because I was making social mistakes (not picking up on key non-verbal cues) or because the people I was with were being hypocrites.

For instance, when I first started at boarding school, one of the matrons (who should have known better) hid three of my books while I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed. My roommates watched her do it and were privy to the joke. They were new books that I had only bought that day, and I very much wanted to read them. This was when my social difficulties were at their peak - I was a loner who hardly communicated with anyone if I could help it, partially because people frightened me and partially because I just liked my own company best of all. I needed my books. As my teachers noted, I clung to them as a drowning man clings to the reeds on the riverbank. Without them, I would get very panicky.

I returned to the bedroom and immediately noticed that the books were no longer there. I began to search for them, getting more frantic by the second.

"Get into bed, Vicky!" the matron told me. "You don't have any time to read now, anyway. It doesn't matter."

I tried to tell her that did matter, that I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't know where those books were. But she resolutely switched off the light and left me with no choice but to climb into bed, while my roommates scornfully commented on my bookish behaviour.

I didn't sleep that night. Noticing how miserable and withdrawn I was the next day (I couldn't concentrate on my lessons - my mind was desperately trying to think where the books could be) one of my roommates decided that the joke had gone far enough. As I was coming along the corridor at the end of afternoon school, I heard her arguing with the others.

"This isn't funny any more. We should give them back to her -"

"It's not our business! Miss McCade hid them, not us!"

"Yes, but they're in your sports bag, so - "

Sports bag! I shot along the corridor and burst into our room. The sports bag in question was in plain sight on top of my roommate's wardrobe. It wasn't even zipped up. I could see the books as soon as I stood on my chair to peer inside. So I took them back.

As a result, two of my roommates refused to speak to me for nearly a week.

"Where did you get those books?" one of them demanded.

"I overheard you talking about where they were, so I came and retrieved them. I wanted to read."

"Oh! So you go through Abby's stuff! Just so you can read!"

"I didn't have to go through her stuff. I knew where they were. And in any case, you had no business to be hiding my possessions from me. If you would prefer me to leave your belongings alone, kindly extend the same courtesy to me."

"Miss McCade hid them, not us! It wasn't our fault! Anyway, it was only a joke. This is why everyone thinks you're so weird. You can't take jokes!"

I don't know whether I made a social faux pas or two, or whether my roommates were in the wrong from start to finish. Possibly a mixture of both.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby C » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:38 pm

Good to know I am not alone :D

Your story reminded me of something that happened to me quite recently.

A few weeks prior to this happening, one of my friends thought it would be funny to retrieve my phone from my bag while I was in the toilet and store the number of a boy she knew on there. Bearing this in mind I assumed that it was the social norm of the majority of my class to go through each others bags.

A little while later, I knew two of my other friends were writing something about me in a note. I knew the note was about what one of them would talk about on a date with a boy, so I knew it wasn't serious private stuff or anything. I asked to see it but they refused. One of them put the note into her bag. I retrieved the note and on it it had said 'Don't talk with (the boyfriends name) about anything Charlotte would say. Don't wear anything Charlotte would wear or do anything Charlotte would do.'

I was a bit offended but mostly found it funny. My friend was outraged that I'd gone in her bag.

In hindsigt I know looking into her bag was a stupid thing to do and that I was in the wrong to read something private. But I still feel that putting a boy's number on my phone was far, far worse. I can accept what I did was an invasion of her privacy and I have apoligised. But nobody will apoligise for fiddling around with my phone to me :(
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