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Satire, Sarcasm, and Irony

January 25, 2023

Leadership Notes


In Sunday’s sermon, I touched briefly on satire and sarcasm. After lunch that day, I received some terrific feedback from Diana Schneider, a lovely and thoughtful member of Covenant Church. Here’s what she shared with me on the topic of sarcasm:


Good morning again Pastor Richard,

I just thought I'd share something a patient pointed out to me a

while back. He was an English nerd (and English to boot) and he

heard me say something about how I appreciate and use sarcasm.

He informed me that Americans use the word sarcasm incorrectly

when we typically mean we are being ironic. He said sarcasm is

when you use irony to be mean-spirited, which isn't what I

usually intend. So of course, I had to look it up and he was right.

Ironic: "happening in the opposite way to what is expected,

and typically causing wry amusement because of this."

Sarcasm: "the use of irony to mock or convey contempt."