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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a comic device, criticism expressed through scathing mockery. Sarcasm is the strongest form of irony. Although a sarcastic statement is formulated in positive terms, its negative meaning is immediately made apparent; other forms of irony preserve and develop the positive formulation, expressing criticism only by subtle implication. Sarcasm is always tendentious, merciless, and satirical; irony, when used for purposes of humor, is gentle and conciliatory. Unlike simple condemnation, sarcasm does not explicitly criticize but forces the reader himself to reassess the object of satire:

Molchalin! Who else can smooth things out so peacefully!
He knows just when to pet a pug,
And when to slip in a card.

(A. S. Griboedov, Woe From Wit)

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
At one stage in the hearing District Judge Fiona Bagnall warned him about sarcastic answers and showing respect to the prosecutor.
Appearing more relaxed and glib than usual, Tyson responded to questions - sometimes with flippant, sarcastic answers, other times with more thoughtful responses.
The one where an obnoxious, condescending smart-ass priest keeps giving Mrs Doyle sarcastic answers, forcing Ted to tell her to believe the opposite of everything he says.