Sarcasm can be defined as a ”sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark, or a bitter jibe or taunt.”
Its distinctive quality is that it is more effective when spoken, as compared to write, because of vocal inflections that can give it greater emphasis. The first record of the term” sarcastic” was in 1695 when its referred to the use of sarcasm. It is clear that this form of comment the sarcastic content of a statement will be dependent upon the context in which it appears.
Cultural perspectives on sarcasm vary widely. Some cultures and linguistic groups find it offensive to varying degrees while others understand the sarcasm to rally to be a joke.
Is There Any Benefit From ‘Sarcasm”?
‘Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but the highest form of intelligence,” wrote that connoisseur of wit, Oscar Wilde.
Weather sarcasm is a sign of intelligence or not, communication experts and marriage counselors alike typically advise us to stay away from this particular form of expression. The reason is simple: sarcasm expresses the poisonous sting of contempt, hurting others and harming relationships. As a form of communication, sarcasm takes on the debt of conflict.
And Yet, our research suggests there may also be some unexpected benefits from sarcasm: greater creativity. The use of sarcasm, in fact, promotes creativity for those on both the giving and receiving an end of sarcastic exchanges. Instead of avoiding sarcasm completely in the office, the research suggests sarcasm, used with care and in moderation, can be effectively used and trigger some creative sparks.
It said that Sarcasm involves constructing or exposing contradictions between intended meanings. The most common form of verbal irony, sarcasm is often used to humorously convey thinly veiled disapproval or scorn. ” Pat, don’t work so hard!!”, a boss might say upon catching his assistant surfing the Internet. Early research on sarcasm explored how people interpret statements and found that, as expected, sarcasm makes statements sound more critical. In real scenarios in which, for instance, 1. one person did something that could be viewed negatively, such as smoking, and 2. a second person commented on the behaviour to the first person, either literally(”I see you don’t have a health concern from your lungs”) or sarcastically(” I see you have a healthy concern for your lungs”). Participants rated sarcasm to be more condemning than literal statements. In a similar study, participants were encouraged to empathize either with a person behaving in a way that could be construed as negative or with a second person commenting on the first person’s behavior. Both perspectives prompted participants to rate sarcastic comments by the second person as more impolite relative to literal comments.
Why Might Sarcasm Enhance Creativity?
This is because the brain must think creatively to understand or convey a sarcastic comment, sarcasm may lead to clearer and more creative thinking. To either create or understood sarcasm, the tone must overcome the contradictions between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process the activates, and is facilitated by, abstraction, which in turn process that activates, and is facilitated by, abstraction, which turn promotes creative thinking.
Sarcasm can be interpreted negatively, and thus cause relationship costs. So, how do we harness its creative benefits without creating the type of conflict that can damage a relationship? It comes down to trust. Our studies show that, given the same content and tone, sarcasm expressed towards or receive from somewhat we trust is less conflict provoking that sarcasm expressed towards or received from someone we distrust. Of course, if we were to vary the tone and content, it would make difference too-given an extremely harsh tone and critical content, even trust might not be enough.
Given the risks and benefits of sarcasm, your best bet is to keep salty remarks limited to conservation with those you know well, let you offend others-even as you potentially help them think more creatively.