Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Rav, Jan 20, 2010.
Oh fuckin' funnay!
You're such a wit.
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You're getting there. I really want to see you pull out all the stops and aim for significant levels of funniness. After all, that's the main problem here. This whole discussion was supposed to be light hearted. I tried to set the tone. If you could just go back and see this thread for what it really is, we could all enhance our evenings.
Been at the bottle again I see.
You threw a party, and the guests started fighting.
Hit him Max, hit him!
Actually, no. Thanks for asking. I ran out of beer and drank all the wine (all glass and a half that was left).
Last night on the other hand. I got home, it was late. Spud Empress was out stitching up a deal.
So I sucked down a litre of beer, quoffed a glass or two of white, rolled a scoob and sucked pretty damned hard on that too. It caught in my throat and I started to cough. Well bugger me, next thing I was chundering on an unsuspecting red necked wallaby (that's their real name)below the deck.
Undaunted, I gargled some cab sauv. to set myself straight and had a nice night....You?
Oh no, bitch slapped by the Baron!
That's not hitting the bottle at all.
A night of sobriety in fact.
Not that I drink much myself you understand.
I'm drinking a bottle of Chilean Merlot at the moment.
That's like pop really.
Some of your Aussie stuff is like drinking industrial spirit.
Mustn't go too much off subject, or we'll be up before the headmaster.
You know how strict he is.
And don't call the Max a bitch. That'll get him really angry.
That's something you don't want to see.
Nearly every one of my posts in this thread has had an example of sarcasm (recognised, punctuated or not). Completely on topic.
In thinking about (yeah, I know, don't hurt myself), I often punctuate to disclose the sarcasm. It might be a pre-emptive hmmm! or the inclusion of spacing...by way of a pause in speech to change the tone and advertise the presence of sarkiness.
I'd guarnatee you'd recognise my not so subtly disguised sarcastic barbs, gibes and snide asides.
Equally you'd know when I'm talking straight, albeit rarely.
And as the OP explored, the fact that not everyone gets it is definitely part of the appeal.
What do you think about what Paul McCartney said? See below.
It's a long time ago, but I think from that date I could never respect him fully.
If you don't guard yourself against excessive or inappropriate sarcasm, you can easily make enemies, or offend people close to you.
When I was younger, I did so occasionally, to my cost.
Now I filter what I say. Some of my best jibes are never uttered, though I have to bite my tongue.
Which is still sarcasm is a way, if you look at the definition.
Looking at the word sarcasm shows the nature of it: cutting into flesh.
A tool which can be used effectively against a deadly enemy, if you want to strip someone bare of their flesh.
Against a friend, perhaps, but only if you want to reveal a hidden truth which you feel is a benefit to them.
From the online etymological dictionary:
1579, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," lit. "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (gen. sarkos) "flesh," prop. "piece of meat," from PIE base *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Sarcastic is from 1695. For nuances of usage, see humor.
I don't necessarily see that as sarcasm. Your point is that he was reaching beyond his capabilities in one important way, and it was having an effect on his client or his client's clients that was not what he intended. All artists have weak spots in their mastery of their craft and you were trying to show him what his is.
Well I certainly hope so! As a professional communicator in real life that's a major part of my job. Anger is one of the most powerful emotions so once you evoke it in your reader or listener he's no longer paying attention to the airtight reasoning and subtle nuances in your discourse.
Humor, on the other hand, works just the opposite way. When you get somebody laughing you can often slip your points in subliminally, so when he gets home they're rattling around in his cranium and he doesn't even realize where they came from. This is why people like Jon Stewart are so effective: a tiny dose of political or cultural lecture wrapped in a big dose of laughter. You just have to make sure the laughter doesn't come with a side dish of anger. Stewart will never win over conservatives because he pisses them off the moment he opens his mouth, but he can be very effective with folks in the middle of the spectrum who are more open-minded and harder to offend.
I'm paying close attention. I tend to be tolerant on this board regarding off-topic discussions and digressions into silliness because we don't get a lot of traffic. So far I am content that none of these personal insults were taken as anything but rude humor, but I hope nobody tries to push that envelope.
Max was born angry. When he came out of the womb, as soon as he stopped screaming in pain he said, "Don't anybody leave this room until I have taken down all of your names."
I haven't meticulously screened every post, and besides I am the world's worst sarcasm detector, but so far I have nothing to complain about. But as I said, don't push it!
Believe me, you use subtle inflections in tone of voice, cadence, etc., to express emotion, whether you (or your listeners) recognize them all consciously or not. This is one of the things a guy like me appreciates about Chinese: they have co-opted tones to serve as phonemes, so they have to be clearer in actually stating how they feel in words.
Did you read my reply to that question? We Americans are constantly amazed at the deadpan way British people talk about things that would have us screaming. It's just part of their culture. They can detect the subtle differences.
A Jewish comedian once told the story that when she was growing up, in her home if you spent a little too long in the bathroom the entire family would be pounding on the door shouting, "Are you okay? Is something bothering you? Come out and let's all talk about it!" She went to visit a girlfriend in England, and unknowingly happened to arrive at her home a few hours before she returned after having run away for several months. Her mother said nothing about this while they were having tea and a bland conversation; as far as she knew they were waiting for her pal to return from a shopping trip. When she walked in and it became obvious that she'd been gone for more than a few hours, the mother simply said, "Hello dear, would you like a biscuit or a crumpet with your tea?"
When they were eventually alone the Jewish girl asked, "How can you people overlook such colossal problems in your relationships? Why don't you tell each other how you feel?" The Brit said, "Oh but we do. I guess you're just not picking it up. There's no need to yell and be rude in order to express yourself."
I think Paul McCartney was telling us honestly how he felt about John Lennon's untimely demise. He didn't need to distort his face in anguish, pull at his hair, and use language uncharacteristic of one of the world's most beloved entertainers in a film clip that would still be on YouTube today
Many of us Americans indeed believe that it's important to let our feelings out so they don't fester in our "Shadow" and haunt us. But not every culture deals with them that way and that doesn't make them insensitive, much less wrong. Imagine how a Japanese would have reacted!
Which is why I consider sarcasm a form of humor, even if I'm out of step with the dictionary. If you want to "cut your friend's flesh," as it were, and get him to look at what you've discovered down there, instead of screaming and tossing you out the door, you'd better make him laugh in the process, or at least smile a little bit.
I've been drinking a bit tonight, so I might have missed a subtlety that has compromised my ability to properly understand where you're coming from. But if I were to reduce this to something more basic, it would be the same as a fellow physicist questioning Einstein's ability to do basic Algebra. "Come on Einstein. This is just a little bit out of your league isn't it?", this fellow says to Einstein when he offers to help a high school student with an assignment. It's funny precisely because of how untrue it is, and it is actually a statement about Einstein's mastery of the discipline. Einstein's colleague's intention is to be humorous. Einstein will find it funny because he also knows that it's going to be trivially easy for him. Einstein's colleague knows this as well. The desired effect is achieved. It's ironic sarcasm, and even though this kind of sarcasm does not express contempt, which seems to be a defining characteristic of sarcasm, I call it sarcasm anyway since it seems to follow the same logical principles.
You might even be able to say that it expresses contempt for inability in general. Inability as a concept, rather than inability of a person.
Fraggle, it might be difficult for you to believe, but ...I've seldom been truly angry in my whole life. Yes, some little ones, for a short time, etc.
And wanna' know something else interesting? I've seldom been angry at this site, even some of my most "angry" posts were typed up while I was laughing and having fun ....mostly prodding the liberals about their silly dreams of u-fuckin'-topia!
What I find interesting is that number of people that seem to think I'm angry when I post contrary opinions or thoughts. If you say cold beer is good, as much as I like cold beer, I'm most likely to say that cold beer sucks.
I hope, sincerely, that my contrary posts have made a few people think. I hope it's also made some people less willing to make snap, quick judgements about issues. Members here are horrible about making snap judgements.
Okay, now that I've posted it, and realize how little it has to do with the topic of sarcasm, you're welcome to delete at your earliest convenience.
Wow, I think that could be really useful.
I think it is good to have AND YES i wish i had thought of it.
Well crap. Now I have to decide if this is Max in a rare spasm of candor and transparency... or merely an extremely well-crafted exercise in sarcasm. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
In either case the post is welcome on my easily-moderated low-traffic subforum.
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..LOL! I thought about that after I'd already posted! ...LOL! The answer is, of course, no, it was not sarcasm. In fact, I use sarcasm a lot in my posts, but it's perfectly obvious sarcasm ....any other kind simply won't work in written format.
Well, I'll try not to be as contrary and hateful here as I am at some of the other subforums. But then, you know me, most of the words I use are words that I learned from "See Spot Run" and "Cat in the Hat", so... Well, linguistics is not my forte'. ...now I wonder what the hell "forte'" means??? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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Baron Max: "I am a big bad lion. I am a big bad..........."
I'm sure you know what it means and are just being sarcastic.Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! And there's no accent mark over the E. However, almost everybody except English majors pronounce it wrong. It's simply FORT with a silent E. It's a French word meaning "strong" and it originally didn't even have the E.
Forte, in italics, with a two-syllable pronunciation, is a musical direction meaning "loud," from Italian.
Unfortunately people with a little education, but not enough, thought "forte" without italics was Italian and that everybody was saying it wrong, so they "corrected" it to have two syllables. Today American dictionaries allow that pronuncation although it is not preferred.
These are the same partially-educated people who started the trend of pronouncing the first C in "Arctic" and the T in "often." "Arctic" was a French word and the C was already silent when we borrowed it. The T in "often" has been silent since the 17th century. Both incorrect pronunciations are now grudgingly accepted in American dictionaries, alongside FOR-TAY.
In the UK I have never heard anyone pronounce forte it as fort.
I don't. It's a phrase almost as annoying as "It's my passion"
Do people in the US ever say (as pronounced) "Yes, I'm good at that , it's my fort"?
"Acid rock is his forte" is a combination of "something he likes" and "something he's very good at." I suppose the closest synonym is "specialty," but that has three times as many syllables. Also, "specialty" has a vague implication of a career, whereas "forte" could just be a hobby or even a school project.
Yes, but usually only well-educated people, or English majors at any level. You don't hear it much in vernacular speech except as sarcasm or understatement. "Well, I see that making breakfast is not your forte. Don't worry, I'll stop at McDonalds on the way to work."
Since "forte" the one-syllable French word and forte the two-syllable Italian word both derive from the Latin word fortis, "strong," it's not worth complaining about if it's mispronounced. That's the way English evolves.
Separate names with a comma.