Sarcasm

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sarcasm

 

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.
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