How To Detect Sarcasm

Sarcasm is the act of overstating emotions or interest to statements that seem plain or obvious. It is often used in malice or humorous teasing. Sarcasm is often heavily expressed, but given the circumstances, it can be subtle as well. Phrases such as "duh" or "go figure" are the more obvious signs that a person is being sarcastic, while other phrases could be taken as signs of interest. A sarcastic tone of voice is often very expressive and puts extra emphasis on each word. This type of speech is generally considered to be counter-productive and anti-social behavior. Subtle sarcasm is much harder to detect and can often be mistaken for interest in the original speaker's dialogue. This type of sarcasm is also without regard for the speaker's feelings, but is done in such a way so that the sarcastic party can freely express their annoyance without bringing it to the attention of the original speaker. Sarcasm isn't limited to verbal exchanges, as it can also be conveyed in written or text form. However, it is difficult to both express and interpret sarcasm in this form, because the lack of tone makes it impossible to know the true intention of the writer. Fortunately, through the marvels of modern technology, sarcasm can now be conveyed in text form through the device of emoticons. My, we've sure come a long way (my attemt to inject a little sarcasm into this hub)! Here are a few things to look for when dealing with a sarcastic person:

Over interest: If they act like everything you say radiates knowledge and profound wisdom, then they're probably making fun of you.

Hamming it up: The most obvious sign of someone being sarcastic. Usually over expressed with a ridiculous tone of voice.

The "eye roll": The eyes never lie. This can be consciously or reflexively when making a sarcastic remark.

Contradicting an inquiry with a ridiculous answer: (Example)

Person 1: "Excuse me, do you work here?"

Person 2: "No...I just like wearing bright shirts that say [buisness establishment of choice] and a nametag."


If you think the person you are talking to is being sarcastic, you have the option to either blush and stop talking, change the subject, laugh at the sarcastic remark, express your thoughts on how the sarcasm affects your feelings (note: you should probably prepare yourself for more sarcasm with this option), or find someone else to talk to.

Comments 6 comments

Chuck profile image

Chuck 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

Great Hub. You really covered this topic well.

soniya 7 years ago

Agreed :)

marieryan profile image

marieryan 7 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

This was great! Well done!

Anonymous 7 years ago

Wow, this really helped me! Thank you for clearing up such a complex topic. I hope you continue to enlighten us in the future!

Dink96 profile image

Dink96 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Beautiful. You have helped me more than you will ever know. Danke.

Mahmo profile image

Mahmo 5 years ago

great hub. I agree with you !

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article