This book presents a compilation of sarcasm research with the hoope that researchers from many different disciplines will discover new avenues of inquiry into the field.
Edwin Mellen Press
Sarcasm has many definitions, and this variety shapes how researchers see it. Sarcasm is portrayed in most dictionary references as negative behavior; it is designed to wound, insult, or taunt. It is characterized as cutting and contemptuous. However, some researchers say that much sarcasm involves teasing and joking. Sarcasm is relatively common, although most instances of sarcasm tend to be isolated. Researchers report different types of sarcasm.
Most sarcasm is linguistic, philosophical, or literary in nature. Most researchers utilize experimental methods to study it, but other forms of research have advocates also. The vast majority of studies mentioned in this book consider elements of comprehension of sarcasm, rather than production. Researchers have less often considered sarcastic speakers and what motivates them to use sarcasm. This appears to be changing, however. This book looks at all methodologies used in sarcasm research and considers what has been most productive as well as problems that exist with the various research methods.
"Sarcasm is everywhere. Many well-known cartoons such as "Dilbert," "The Far Side," and "Garfield," feature characters that use sarcasm and irony as the primary means of delivering humor. Popular musicians often use sarcasm in their lyrics. A notorious example is the rapper Eminem who claims his controversial, some say patently offensive, lyrics are intended as jokes even though many fans fail to recognize the sarcasm in them. Many television shows feature characters that are sarcastic. From Ed Asner on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and Carroll O'Connor on "All in the Family" to Ray Romano on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men," and almost any late night television host, the TV screen is full of sarcasm. Movie characters are often sarcastic. Clint Eastwood's notorious Dirty Harry drips sarcasm when he pronounces, "Make my day." Mae West is inviting more than a mere visit with her, "Come up and see me sometime."