Difference between Sarcasm and Irony/comparison table

Sarcasm and irony are two of the most popular figures of speech. A rhetorical figure is a linguistic construction by which when saying something not only accepts its literal meaning, but its very form gives it an extra peculiarity. The sarcasm on one hand, is a form of witty banter, a scathing criticism. Through it, a person can express their annoyance or displeasure at a specific situation. A bit similar is the irony. However, it should not be forgotten that both are completely different. Difference between Sarcasm and Irony

The irony is a figure by which the issuer implies the opposite message to what it really means. It is a kind of implicit paradox that must be received and understood by the receiver without needing to be explained. In both, the body language and tone of voice of the person who emits it is very important for understanding the message. Difference between Sarcasm and Irony

Comparison table Difference between Sarcasm and Irony

Definition Sarcasm is a figure of speech in the form of non-direct criticism. It is a non-explicit mockery by which displeasure, disagreement or disdain is expressed. Sarcasm is said to be the vilest form of humor but the highest form of wit. In the same way, irony is a rhetorical figure in which the opposite of what is really meant is implied. The irony is helped by the external context: the real meaning of what is intended to be understood is denoted through body language, tone of voice and a specific vocabulary.
Etymology Sarcasm comes from the Latin sarcasmus which literally means “to bite the lips”. Irony, on the other hand, comes from the Greek eironeia , which means slightly “feign ignorance” and “conceal”.
General characteristics Because sarcasm is not literal or direct, it can easily lead people to confusion. However, if the receiver pays attention to the sender, if he pays attention to body language, if he is able to notice the differences in his oral register, he should have no problem understanding it. Of course, this also depends on cultural factors since sarcasm is not the same in all cultures. What may be perceived as entirely rude to someone may be a scathing and intelligent taunt to someone else. For this reason, it is important to know when and with which people to use it, to avoid confusion, displeasure or misinterpretations that can lead to something more serious. Difference between Sarcasm and Irony Irony, on the other hand, can have several connotations. It can be from comical to tragic, depending on the situation. For example, a comical irony is having a bad day thinking “things couldn’t get worse” only to realize later that the day is far from getting better. It is worth mentioning that, like sarcasm, it is necessary to have cultural knowledge of the environment in which the person operates. The irony has no translation, and even many times not even equivalent. In fact an irony would not have to be explained to be understood. That is why the cultural background of who says it and who receives it is so important.

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