Sarcasm often gets a bad wrap. Look up the word sarcasm on Google, and this is the first definition you’ll see: “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.”
Indeed, one can be sarcastic with a mean motive. But what many people tend to call sarcasm today is really comic irony. Perhaps a better definition for modern usage is the first one given by Merriam-Webster: “the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny.”
Yeah, those last two are what I do. Not really the first.
In case you need some alternatives for the word sarcastic, here I come to the rescue!
Snarky. This has become my favorite. Although around since 1906, it’s been used more often in recent years. It derives from a word meaning “snort,” which is about the way a good snarky comment can come across.
Sarky. In case that word above just has too many letters, you can go with the British (or more specifically, Cockney) slang version of sarcastic — sarky. Which really just sounds like you’re too lazy to use three syllables and shortened it to two.
Quippish. You know what a quip is — “a clever usually taunting remark.” But did you know there’s an adjective version? Yep, it’s quippish. It’s not often used or even included in some dictionaries, but we can bring it back into fashion.
Witty. Let’s face it. If you’re good at sarcasm, you’re witty, which is defined as “showing or characterized by quick and inventive verbal humor.” You can be witty-mean or witty-funny, and that part is your choice.
Use your snarky, sarky, quippish wit with care. While studies have shown that “exposure to sarcasm enhances creative problem solving,“ the effects aren’t all positive; some people take sarcasm as truly insulting.
And now here’s my un-sarcastic report on my progress for A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life.
1. Read 12 books. I read No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice–Instead of Good–Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. PhD Degler (nonfiction obviously). And I’m two-thirds through Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain. 9 2/3 of 12 finished!
2. Finish editing SHARING HUNTER, a young adult contemporary novel. Yay, I got quite a bit of plotting done this week! I’m working on summarizing scenes and seeing where I need to beef up and where I need to press delete. Call this week a win! (Finally.)
3. Edit one short story to publication quality. I found two teenage girls to read the short story and give their feedback. Once I get their comments, I’ll finish editing and polishing. On hold.
4. Publish and promote two short stories. My Sister’s Demon is available on Amazon and coming soon to Barnes & Noble. Half done!
5. Stay on top of ROW80 sponsor duties. Visited 7 blogs this week. Lots of great progress and exciting news out there! Done.
So are you a sarcastic person? What word do you use to refer to yourself or others who use comic, or abrasive, irony? And how was your week?
wasted a ton of time enjoyed spending time creating a superhero, which you can do as well at Marvel.com.