Friday, October 21, 2016

Sarcasm and irony

An explanation:

Sarcasm. The student’s word for irony. Sarcasm intends personal hurt. It may also be ironic, but need not be.

Sheridan Baker, The Practical Stylist (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1962).
I’m happy to have Sheridan Baker’s confirmation of this point of usage, something I figured out for myself early on in my teaching, after reading student evaluations that began, “He is very sarcastic.” I wasn’t sarcastic, but I learned to travel a road of greater straightforwardness, with fewer ironic twists and turns. I also learned to signal moments of comedy more clearly to minimize possibilities for misunderstanding. And I realize that the previous sentence may sound sarcastic, but honestly, it’s not meant to be.

Also from The Practical Stylist
&QuA? : Bad sentences : Excerpts

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