Clear Air

word cloud triangleOne would believe with an over-developed grasp of the language, I would be a good communicator. Apparently not.

From time to time, it is brought to my attention what comes out of my mouth is utterly perpendicular to its meaning. Someone tells me what I have said is the exact opposite of what I meant. Two very distinct situations produce this effect. In one, I am to blame. In the other, I am not.


The most common reason for someone getting a meaning I never intended to convey is delivery. I have a sarcastic streak a country mile wide. Since I am not alone in this trait, it begs the question why my sarcasm is taken as gospel. Fact: I am a terrific straight man.

When I am sarcastic in person, it comes across like a text message. I have no silly tells, no tics, no glint in my eye which gives me away. It is one of the many reasons I have been deemed British by people who know I was born in Louisiana.

Red Dwyer

My humor is outlandish. People know I am being hyperbolic when I say I am stapling my children into bed. They know I am yanking their chain when I say it is time to drown the children. They know by the size of my children when I say I am going to starve them, we are only having a one-pot meal instead of a traditional five course dinner.

Those same people never see the subtle, dry humor of my sarcasm because it is not the biting kind which at heart is malicious mordancy. By definition sarcasm is a ironic mockery which shows contempt. I am contemptuous of much. In that contempt, I am not amused. I find no need to add PC-accepted LOLs and laughter to my sarcasm. To my mind, it dilutes the purposeful irony.

Not Guilty

I have no control over your past. Let’s repeat. I have no control over your past.

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Click to use!

It is implausible to believe I know enough about anyone to tailor content specifically for them, especially when it is delivered in mixed company. How could I possibly know your grandmother misused a word for the entirety of your childhood and you continue to misunderstand its meaning 30 years later? I missed the memo your Internet did not have access to a dictionary.

How can I know you have come to believe no one says what they mean? Yourย Doubting Thomas tattoo on your forehead is in invisible ink. If you choose to interpret every word I say into something else, it is your comprehension skills at issue, not my eloquence. Better still, does this mean nothing you say is what you mean?

Ace of SpadesHow could I discern your luck? So far, you have nodded at the appropriate places, shown outrage at the appropriate statements and asked coherent questions pertaining to the topic. I would never question someone who was merely guessing at the contents of the conversation would be that lucky.


Someone recently suggested to me I stop being a bitch. I never even blinked while I waited for the other shoe to drop. As luck would have it, it was a cross trainer with dog hooey on the sole.

Just talk like normal people.”

I still did not blink. I knew my silence would provoke a response.

Just use four letter words like everybody else.”

It was all I could do to keep a straight face. In the ensuing three non-blinks, the speaker realized what that really imported.

Not everybody was an English major. Just talk in little words.”

I lost it. I laughed. I had to laugh. This person’s feelings were hurt, and the tirade which followed iterated my bitchiness, condescension and haughtiness, but all in four-letter words.

When it was over, and still with a smile, I made a few simple statements:

  • I have an accounting degree and a paralegal. I was absolutely not an English major.
  • I use ย a lot of words with less than four letters. I prefer to use a word in place of a paragraph because I know how short attention spans are and the proven human reflex to formulate an answer.
  • An appropriate response to anything I say will always be accepted: “I do not understand what you mean” is one such response.

What I found funny to the point of laughter was the accusation in the assumption. We will not go over assumption here, as there are more than a dozen posts about its ludicrousness.

  1. FACT: If my capability exceeds yours, it is not necessarily because I sat in a classroom.
  2. FACT: I do not think you are beneath me because I said something you did not understand.
  3. FACT: I am only condescending when I am sarcastic, which is by design.
  4. FACT: My laughter was not my laughing at the person who misunderstood.
  5. FACT: My laughter was in and of itself sarcastic of our society’s repugnance of open communication.

Language is like any other muscle: If you fail to use it, it atrophies.

Which is harder to discern: written sarcasm or verbal? Any suggestions?

Hashtags: #communication #sarcasm #truth

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ยฉ Red Dwyer 2014
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  1. Never change A Word Red.. Always Love ya just as you are. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wishing you All the best as the Holiday Season approaches..

    Love and Blessings
    Sue <3
    Sue Dreamwalker recently posted..Blog Challenge ~ Present your GiftsMy Profile

    • So very happy to see you today, Sue! Bright Blessings for this holiday season. I think you are stuck with my just like this for the duration. Much Love <3 xxx

  2. Given that so many people have the attention span of a goldfish and seem incapable of the minimum reading standard of a five year old, I am surprised they are able to even string a sentence together.

    Keep on going Red – their substandard education makes me wonder how they learned to use a computer…

    God Bless!

    prenin recently posted..Tuesday โ€“ Oops!!! Missed this one!!!My Profile

  3. I never use sarcasm. Yet people often misunderstand what I say as well. Maybe it’s the British in me.

  4. I usually find that people who don’t hear sarcasm are too busy listening to their own thoughts and thinking about their response. I don’t have much trouble hearing sarcasm, but the textual conveyance of same often baffles me. Unless it’s written in sarcasm font, in which case, I get it every time.


    P.S. I am not a spambot. Does that mean I get a cookie?
    Mike W recently posted..BiographyMy Profile

    • Absolutely, one of those praline-coconut concoctions from my wall. I have already made my donation to the Sarcasm Font Foundation. I hear research is coming along swimmingly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Sounds yummy. “A real tooth rotter” a pastry chef I once hated working with would have said. I may not have liked him, but when he said tooth rotter, I was all in for a taste.


        • It is going to be. I will post results tomorrow when we have had time to cool and munch them. I need to remember to take a picture before they all disappear. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Now that sounds like “A real tooth rotter” or said a certain pastry chef I hated working with. I may not have liked him much, but when he a put out a tooth rotter sample, we were all over them.

    Mike W recently posted..BiographyMy Profile

  6. I believe verbal sarcasm is easier to discern since tone, volume, and body language back it up.

    What about the person you are speaking to simply isn’t listening? Their mind is only half tuned in to the conversation as they have their own agenda. They will not pick up the nuances of your speech or your proper English.
    Tess recently posted..Sallyโ€™s Grotto โ€“ The Christmas Gift Emporium of Unique Indie Endeavours โ€“ Week FourMy Profile

    • Indeed, my deadpan demeanor for sarcasm, by design, means the listener must actually listen. It is one of my hugest revealers: I am intolerant of partial attention. xxx

  7. As I am one for twisting words and being a wicked Vampy I agree with everything that you have said, well most of it, okay all ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I mean without the tongue-in-cheek wickedness where would we be Red? ๐Ÿ™‚ I often make a joke of things and often these jokes are laughed at, whilst other times I can be seen as a bit of an asshole, but it’s all fun to me.

    After saying that though, I wouldn’t ridicule anyone, I guess I have always played around with words, but then everyone that knows me is well aware of this so there is no problem ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

    Have a wonderful start
    to your Thursday Red ๐Ÿ™‚

    Andro xxxx

  8. Written snark is far more difficult. People frequently misunderstand snark for gospel and clearly if this is true than the opposite must be as well.

    More often than not, at least lately, I choose not to correct their misunderstanding.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Call it RainMy Profile


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