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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Ironic Sarcasm

The English language is a complex and evolved communication mechanism involving more than just words. There’s tone, inflection, body language, cadence, and all of it combines with actual words to form an implied meaning and hopefully an accurate interpretation.

What’s so amazing about this whole process is that you can use a combination of tone, inflection and just a hint of body language to say certain words but mean the exact opposite, and someone will actually be able to understand you.

Just think about that: Language is so evolved that it’s possible to say something literal while implying its exact contradiction, and depending on how good you are at it, people will have no problem understanding your true intentions.

Sarcasm spans across all languages, although the cues are different. For example, if one wants to sound sarcastic in Cantonese, one needs to “raise the fundamental frequency of one’s voice.” In Holland, one mumbles.

Of course, it doesn’t work so well in print. And although people have tried to propose punctuation to imply sarcasm in printed media, it kinda takes the fun out of the whole mess.

Ironic sarcasm is effing awesome. < not sarcasm


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