Sarcasm punctuation mark aims to put an end to email confusion

So when the doc says " it's probably just a benign tumour on your left nut, I think we can remove it " you respond with a straight face?
Of course.
Accompanied by the phrase "Remove it? But that shade of purple goes so well with my new Y-fronts".
 
French waiter responds with, " Monsieur, you have egg on vous face and un ouef is enough!".../sneeer. *closes eyes, sneer*....sneer!
 
French waiter: " Zee only sing vorse zan ze puerile Pom iss zee loudmouse Americun! Ughhhh!...*sneer*
 
"Benign tumours?, I thought there'd be at least a dozen of those fuckers!. Careworn testes Doc!"
 
I often have to resist the temptation, but when I know that things are really important, I make a special effort to say exactly what I mean without irony. It's hard for me, but I manage it.

Example of when someone didn't manage to resist sarcasm when it would have been better to do so.

After the murder of John Lennon, a reporter asked Paul McCartney for his reaction.
Paul McCartney replied:
"Yes, it's a drag isn't it"
I've never seen that quoted anywhere, ever. It must have passed other people's notice.
I remember it from a TV broadcast on the day after his death, because the coldness shocked me.
 
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Don't lose us now,
Give yourself an uppercut. Back on track. Dywyrrdiddie diddie dum diddie do.
Snap to it.
 
"Benign tumours?, I thought there'd be at least a dozen of those fuckers!. Careworn testes Doc!"

Captain: Aaah, that's a relief. A benign tumour. That means I won't die then.
Doctor: No. I be a Pirate doctor. I do say there be Nine Tumours, all terrible.
(Credit to spud for idea)
 
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. . . . humour usually comes at someone else's expense.
The one major form of humor that does not is the pun. It's a joke about language and has nothing to do with anyone's misfortune. Yet people say, "the pun is the lowest form of humor." Go figure. It seems like the noblest to me!
What's the difference, then, between "hate speech" and "sarcasm"?
That's a good question which cannot be clearly answered today because the definition of hate speech has not yet been standardized. Wikipedia offers one typical definition: speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group, such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. "Afro-Americans are ugly, Mexicans are lazy, Christians are ignorant, fat people are losers, old people are parasites," etc. Yet Wikipedia gives antilocution as an alternative term for hate speech, and antilocution refers strictly to jokes, not to sincere disparagement and certainly not to incitement to harm people or drive them out of the country.

Antilocution is the first step on Allport's Scale of prejudice.
  • 1. Antilocution. The use of negative images and stereotypes, especially humorously, which is usually thought to be harmless by those who use it although it may cause psychological harm.
  • 2. Avoidance. While direct harm may not be intended, indirect harm can be caused by separation from the economic and cultural mainstream.
  • 3. Discrimination. Denial of opportunities, deliberate intent to cause harm.
  • 4. Physical attack. Serious harm is done to members of the group and to the group itself.
  • 5. Extermination. The majority group attempts to remove or actually kill off the minority group or a major portion of it.
Other definitions of hate speech are more stringent and do not include mere antilocution. "Deport all the Mexicans." "We must outlaw the Christian religion."
After the murder of John Lennon, a reporter asked Paul McCartney for his reaction. Paul McCartney replied: "Yes, it's a drag, isn't it?"
That strkes me as typical British understatement, which they are famous for.
I remember it from a TV broadcast on the day after his death, because the coldness shocked me.
This might well be nothing more than a cross-cultural misunderstanding. As a nation, the British people are stoic. In contrast, we Americans are complainers.
 
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Captain Kremmen is a loser.
I'd elaborate but for fear of antidiskremmenation laws. (you can laugh here or at least nod knowingly) It's a sarcastic pun, definitely the lowest form of humour, and yes, we know, you don't get it.
 
Would you approve if the Ku Klux Klan used that same reasoning for their vile, hateful, nasty, derogatory speeches about blacks? "Oh, no, that wasn't hate speech, that was sarcasm taken to a higher level of intelligence, that's all."

You seem to be suggesting that a more evolved form of humor is necessarily a more evolved form of hatred. Maybe you really believe that, or maybe it is what it seems to be at face value: a straw man. Either way, you're wrong.

Seriously, bringing the KKK into this discussion is almost the equivalent of bringing the Nazi's into it. With that in mind I'd be upholding an internet tradition by declaring that you've now automatically lost the debate.

One of my closest friends is a bit of web developer extraordinaire, among other things. We're both big fans of sarcastic humor as it brings us both much enjoyment during the many discussions we engage in. Thinking back over such discussions provides me with an example of sarcastic humor that does not come at the apparent expense of another person. Occasionally, I'll say something like "Bob, I know you're sometimes pretty good at doing certain things, but a person can really get hurt when they try to reach beyond their grasp. It's fine to have goals to work towards, but you need to take it one step at a time. I'm really not sure that tweaking the layout of this person's website isn't going to damage your pride beyond repair when you realize that it isn't within your capabilities." Now, I'm not saying that this is an example of truly funny or particularly brilliant sarcasm, but it is an example of the kind of sarcasm that is both fun and complimentary. Creating a kick ass website is a trivial task for him, and tweaking an existing one is child's play. He knows that I know that he's good at it, and my sarcasm is a nod to that fact. He feels good, and we all typically have a chuckle.

Humor is like anything else. It's what you do with it that determines the overall effect that it will have on people. You can be nice, or you can be an asshole. Most of the time I'm nice, but occasionally I like to get someone to bite. It's all part of the fun. The fucking KKK don't even remotely factor in to any of this.

The best sarcasm is usually also ironic, and the irony typically serves to make a sarcastic comment less insulting or hostile than it otherwise would be. I'm sure we can all see the value in being able to express an opinion in a way that is less likely to cause a hostile reaction. So it has some practical uses as well. I'm certainly not saying that it should be employed during important diplomatic relations, but it is still another tool that we can use to communicate thoughts and opinions. Remember, most of the time, it's enjoyed by the majority of people in any given situation, unless it's that lower form of sarcasm that people usually find nothing but annoying. "Don't work too hard fellas" or "Gee, that was smart", for example. It's brain dead, which is why I'm advocating for something more evolved.
 
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You seem to be suggesting that...
Maybe you really believe that, or maybe.... Either way, you're wrong.

Seriously, bringing the KKK into this discussion is....
With that in mind I'd be upholding an internet tradition by declaring that you've now automatically lost the debate.

Once I read down to that part, there was no need to read further. Whatever you wrote after that is meaningless. But thank you putting in the effort to type it up.

Baron Max
 
Well, that's hardly fair is it? I gave you a chance, and your comments were profoundly more outrageous.

Aside from that, no sense of humour.
 
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