By Maeve Maddox
Reader ApK has actually requested for a conversation of the words sarcastic, sardonic, and facetious– all examples of spoken irony.
spoken paradox: the expression of ones significance by utilizing language that normally symbolizes the opposite, usually for humorous or emphatic result.
Ironical obtains from the noun sarcasm.
sarcasm: a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or ridicule.
Both the noun and the adjective obtain from a Greek verb that had the significances “to tear flesh, gnash the teeth, speak bitterly.”
Amongst the usual synonyms for sardonic and ironical are words that conjure up hurt and discomfort: caustic, scathing, trenchant, cutting, biting, sharp, acerbic.
caustic: burning, corrosive, devastating of natural tissuescathing: from the verb “to scathe”: to injure, hurt, damagetrenchant: having a sharp edge, for cuttingacerbic: bitter, sharp, cutting
Sardonic does not have a corresponding noun in contemporary English, but it does obtain from a Latin noun, sardonius, a poisonous plant that grew on the island of Sardinia. This plant was stated to produce facial convulsions looking like terrible laughter, typically followed by death.
In a Rambler essay, Samuel Johnson described “Sardinian Laughter, a distortion of the face without gladness of heart.”
In modern medical terminology, risus sardonicus is a facial expression defined by raised eyebrows and grinning distortion of the face resulting from tetanus, strychnine poisoning, or Wilsons illness. It may also occur after a judicial hanging.
[Wilsons illness: a genetic disease that is identified by excessive build-up of copper in the body– as in the liver or brain due to irregular copper metabolism– is determined by an autosomal recessive gene, and is marked specifically by liver dysfunction and neurologic disease.] Much of twentieth and twenty-first funny takes the form of sarcasm and insult.
The Oxford American Writers Thesaurus lists many synonyms for each of these words– ironical (18 ), sardonic (17 ), and facetious (22 ).
Sarcastic and sardonic are synonyms for each other and they share many of the synonyms provided for them in the OAWT. In the list provided for facetious, just 2 of the words likewise appear in the lists for the other two adjectives: sardonic and paradoxical.
Paradoxical as a synonym for facetious is appropriate. Irony, after all, is a typical source of humor.
Paradox: the expression of ones significance by utilizing language that usually represents the opposite, usually for emphatic or amusing result.
In reaching for a synonym for facetious, nevertheless, I would never choose the dark word sardonic.
Synonyms for facetious include flip, glib, pointless, tongue-in-cheek, jokey, jocular, playful, teasing, mischievous, amusing, entertaining, funny, droll, funny, lighthearted, andjocose.
Sardonic humor is derisory and contemptuous. It sneers at its targets. Like sarcasm, it plans to harm.
Facetious humor is silly, frequently inappropriate to the celebration, however never suggest. Sardonic and sarcastic come from the humor of such comics as Don Rickles and Lewis Black. Facetious humor is the flippant jokiness of P. G. Wodehouse characters like Bertie Wooster.
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Wilsons illness: a hereditary illness that is identified by extreme build-up of copper in the body– as in the liver or brain due to unusual copper metabolism– is determined by an autosomal recessive gene, and is marked particularly by liver dysfunction and neurologic illness. Sardonic humor is contemptuous and derisory. Facetious humor is silly, often improper to the celebration, but never mean. Sarcastic and sardonic belong to the humor of such comics as Don Rickles and Lewis Black. Facetious humor is the flippant jokiness of P. G. Wodehouse characters like Bertie Wooster.