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On the Difference between Irony and Sarcasm

On the Difference between Irony and Sarcasm

There's been a fair bit of chatter on this research about how sarcasm makes you "smarter" and more creative (e.g. here). I've read the original article and the core problem is the confusion between sarcasm and irony.

Irony is the ability to see the gap between aspirations and achievements. Sarcasm is a performative form of irony. You can be ironic without being sarcastic, but you cannot be sarcastic without being ironic. An ironic statement intends to reveal the absurdity to the audience, an indirect way of getting them to see what is really going on. If you use the sarcastic form, you want the audience to see whose fault it was (i.e. who is the idiot behind this mess). That's where the "tearing of the flesh" comes in.

If you use another performative form of irony that isn't intended to harm the target, then the creative thinking and "smartness" is kickstarted, as people are having to decode the indirect prompts and work out for themselves what is actually going on.

Unfortunately, the authors of the article didn't take the time to examine the relationship fully, which obscures the message. Ironic?

Why Change Fails: 3 Things to Think About
Irony | Voltaire

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Friday, 29 May 2020

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