Monday, April 22, 2013



[Disclaimer_____My pet peeves are usually something I've found in my own life and had to try and correct and I tend to be too hard on others about those very things. Much as a dry alcoholic is usually far too strong in their condemnation of anyone drinking. This pet peeve is no exception.]

Sometimes people think of sarcasm as humor. But I think it is more often, as I read recently, "a way for people to express hurt feelings, to criticize others, or to disapprove of someone's action or words without actually coming out and saying what they really mean."

It was pointed out that television sitcoms are sometimes loaded with remarks dripping with sarcasm and, because so many laugh at them, they're mistaken for humor.  Don’t be fooled, they aren't. What sarcasm really winds up being is more a tool for embarrassing and wounding others. It's the chosen tool of "word bullies,"and young people in our society are growing up believing it to be socially acceptable.

If sarcasm doesn't immediately hurt someone else, it certainly runs the risk of being misunderstood since there is usually a "hidden message" being communicated. But I think when we resort to sarcasm to get a point across in a disguised manner, we're really showing a lack of courage to say what is really meant. 

I anticipate someone saying that an occasional sarcastic remark is harmless. Maybe so! But don't ever forget that true character is revealed by our words as well as our actions and both are judged every day. The collective result of that judgement is our reputation.

While I recognize that reputation and character are really two different things and that character is much more important as evidenced by the fact that a reputation that is gained without character is hypocrisy,  while a reputation that grows out of a good character is simply recognizing reality. try convincing some one else of your character when you're reputation is settled in their mind because of the sarcasm they've heard from your lips.

 I urge us all to consider today whether the use of sarcasm is worth risking wounding, or worse, alienating another person in the interest of getting a laugh.

Paul B.


Garen Martens said...


Paul Burleson said...


That has to be a "double ouch" from me. LOL

Aussie John said...


Well,I had to say it,"triple ouch", and that's not sarcasm.

You are so right,and, thank you.

I have often checked myself because I actually loath sarcasm,so much so that I find myself squirming when I hear someone targeted by it, and yet, occasionally find myself thoughtlessly using it.

Many folk, such as a well educated Christian blogger, uses sarcasm quite a bit, but,and, seeking to escape the implications of the word "sarcasm" says that he is using "irony",which sarcasm is not.

I guess you have heard the old saying that,"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit".

Obviously, you agree!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I had NOT heard the statement..."Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit"....but, you're right, I agree. In fact, it says in a single clear statement what I was attempting to say in my post. I'll use it frequently now that I've heard it. Thanks.

Victorious said...

Thank you for this post. I am so happy I found it because some friends and I were recently discussing this same topic.

I view sarcasm as an insult seeking acceptance as humor.

Paul Burleson said...


Your statement here..."I view sarcasm as an insult seeking acceptance as humor. "....goes into the same category I put the previous one by Aussie J. I will use it for a long time to come. Really great statement.