Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's not all sarcasm

Dear Schmeat -

Have you ever made a clever observation about the state of the world, commonly known as an aphorism, only to be afterward described by a family member, friend, co-worker, or anonymous passerby as "sarcastic"?

It's frustrating; isn't it, to be told something you know to be patently inaccurate, and have to accept, in silence, this counter factual observation, for fear of making an actually sarcastic remark correcting the aforementioned family member, friend, co-worker, or anonymous passerby?

Knowing you, Schmeat, I'm probably preaching to the choir. You know as well as I do that just because a cleverly worded quip is rife with irony, maybe even peppered with some satire, it isn't necessarily sarcasm. It might just be facetious,dry, flip, or even salty, and irreverent.

In many cases, when the intent is simply to amuse, rather than wound, the remark might be better described as farcical, jocular, jocose, indecorous, gay, or, dare I say it, queer.

More often than not, Schmeat, it has been my personal experience that any attempt at irony is seen immediately as sarcasm. It upsets me on many levels. For one it reveals either an ignorance, or a lack of attention to detail on the part of the recipient of my finely crafted mirth.

Secondly, subordanate to the first issue, is the fact that if my gift of kittenish, fanciful bon mot isn't fully understood for what it is, the
stipendiary of said monkeyshine cannot fully appreciate the blithe, and sportive allowance of baffoonery that's been bestowed upon them above all others. Nor can they delight in the riotous, rowdy laughter that accompanies such snappy, waggish tomfoolery.

I just wish that people understood the importance of accurately categorizing humor. It makes all the difference in the world. I mean, if you don't know the difference between humor subcategories, you'll run the risk of telling a sprightly shaggy-dog at a funeral, when anyone with any common sense can tell you that the only whimsy appropriate for such a somber occasion is a quaint, and
jaunty mummery.

It all comes down to a problem with education. Most Americans have been brought up in traditional, monohumorous households that still adhere to the outdated, paternalistic belief system that says there is one true humor, under which all frivolous quips, punning one-liners, and gelastic yarns fall, and there is no room for the audaciousness of an orderisory chestnut.

That's why its so important to make investments in public education, as well as in our situational, sketch, and improvisational comedy programs. Also, the masterful navigation of online thesauri is helpful.

It is only through, education, and awareness that Americans can truly be free to appreciate the difference between a bubbly, gamesome, gagged up, campy raillery and a wry, witty, spirited shenanigan.
He's enjoying a fanciful larf

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