Explains some points of the difference between sarcasm, litotes, and pun.
SARCASM, LITOTES, AND PUN (ENGLISH LITERATURE)
The word sarcasm comes from the Greek word, "sarkasmos", which means "to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer". Then the original definition of sarcasm was quite negative, while in some cultures and time periods it can be a relatively mild form of taunting. Actually, the original understanding of sarcasm by the customs of foreigners are as satire or criticism intelligently. However, another definition is: "a spicy direct expression". Therefore, we classify Sarcasm into two, rude sarcasm and clever sarcasm.
Rude Sarcasm is a kind of sarcasm that is widely used by the people of Indonesia, Sarcasm is almost the same as the coa rse expletives directly. So that the people who become the object of sarcasm will know the purpose of the speaker as clear in his words and certainly will be offended.
a. You cannot answer this question? You stupid!
b. Everyone hates you, you have a very bad trait.
Rude sarcasm is very clearly mention the existence of an insult in a sentence. Probably in Indonesia is very often the case like this, but out there, it is an insult that is highly exaggerated.
The purpose of clever sarcasm is an indirect allusion, but obviously with the intention of insulting. Sarcasm is synonymous with intelligent speech. Because who can understand the significance of this clever sarcasm are only those who have a different way of thinking. Not everyone can understand what the meaning of a word that contains this sarcasm. Therefore, this is often used in a debate.
a. Earth is full, can you please go home?
b. Don't worry. I forgot your name, too!
Looks a little funny when we see examples of sarcasm that. Moreover, if we compare the two types of it.
President Barack Obama used sarcasm to mock the rapper Kanye West's announcement that he wants to run for president. However, he didn't just mock Kanye; in the following joke, his sarcasm is targeted only at those who said Obama could never be president:
"Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the south side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the US?"
In other parts, Todd Smith as an American rapper said that sarcasm is really just a convenient way for people to express hurt feelings, criticize others.
Litotes is a figure of speech in which a negative statement is used to affirm a positive sentiment. For example, when asked how someone is doing, that person might respond, "I'm not bad." In fact, this means that the person is doing fine or even quite well. The extent to which the litotes means the opposite is dependent on context. For example, the person saying is "I'm not bad" may have recently gone through a divorce and is trying to reassure a friend that things are okay. On the other hand, this person may have just won the lottery and says, "I'm not bad" with a grin on his face, implying that things are, in fact, incredible. If a person is very intelligent, someone might say, "he's not dumb." Or "he's not unintelligent". In other situations, after someone hires you, you might say, "Thank you sir, you won't regret it."
Litotes is use of negative to express a strong affirmative of the opposite kind. This is a deliberate understatement, especially when expressing a thought by denying or negating its opposite.
Following are some of the commonly used litotes:
The food is not bad.
He is not unlike his dad.
She's not the brightest girl in the class.
He is not unaware of what you said behind his back.
Examples of Litotes in poems:
In the poem 'The Spider and the Fly' by Mary Howitt, "I'm really glad that you have come to visit," says the spider to the fly. The spider is not just glad to get a visitor, but also is excited to get his next meal.
In the poem 'To His Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell, the grave's a fine a private place, but none, I think, do there embrace.
Usually, litotes occurs in a language when the speaker does not make an affirmation, rather denies the opposite. Though widely used in conversational language, its usage depends on intonation and emphasis as in the case of phrase "not bad". This can be said in such a way which means everything from 'mediocre' to 'excellent'.
A pun is a play on words which usually hinges on a word with more than one meaning or the substitution of a homonym that changes the meaning of the sentence for humorous or rhetorical effect. For example, here's a well-known pun: "Corduroy pillows are making headlines." The word "headlines" usually refers to something that is new and popular, but this pun changes the meaning in that after having slept on a corduroy pillow, a person would wake up with lines on their heads.
Another meaning of pun is a play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words. A better way to describe pun as 'a play on words'. Although such terms render ambiguity to a sentence, it is often added for a humorous. For example, "when it rains, it pours" and "The two pianists had a good marriage. They were always in a chord".
Types of Puns
There are several different types of puns. Here are some of the different classifications of puns:
Homophonic Pun: This type of pun uses homonyms (words that sound the same) with different meanings. For example: "The wedding was so emotional that even the cake was in tiers". The professor Walter Redfern said of this type of pun, "To pun is to treat homonyms as synonyms."
Homographic Pun: This type of pun uses words that are spelled the same but sound different. These puns are often written rather than spoken, as they briefly trick the reader into reading the "wrong" sound. For example, "You can tune a guitar, but you can't tuna fish. Unless you play bass." In this case, "tuna fish" is a homophonic pun because it is a homonym for "tune a." The word "bass," though, functions as a homographic pun in that the word "bass" pronounced with a long "a" refers to a type of instrument while "bass" pronounced with a short "a" is a type of fish.
Homonymic Pun: A homonymic pun contains aspects of both the homophonic pun and the homographic pun. In this type of pun, the wordplay involves a word that is spelled and sounds the same, yet has different meanings. For example, "Two silk worms had a race and ended in a tie." A "tie" can of course either be when neither party wins, but in this pun also refers to the piece of clothing usually made from silk.
Compound Pun: A compound pun includes more than one pun. Here is a famous compound pun from English rhetorician and theologian Richard Whately: "Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because he can eat the sand which is there. But what brought the sandwiches there? Why, Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred." There are several separate puns, including the pun on "sand which" and "sandwich," as well as "Ham" (a Biblical figure) and "ham" and the homophonic puns on "mustered"/"mustard" and "bred"/"bread."
Recursive Pun: This type of pun requires understanding the first half of the joke to understand the second. For example, "A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother." The term "Freudian slip" was coined by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud to refer to a mistake in speaking where one word is replaced with another. Freud proposed that these mistakes hinted at unconscious or repressed desires. He also had several theories about the relationship between children (especially boys) and their mothers. Therefore, this pun requires knowledge of Freud's theories and recognition that the pun itself is a Freudian slip with the substitution of "your mother" for "another."
Difference Between Pun and Joke
While they share much in common, puns and jokes are not synonymous. The definition of pun is such that it necessitates wordplay. A joke may contain this type of wordplay, but there are a great many jokes that do not have any plays on words. Also, some puns are not humorous and used for rhetorical, rather than humorous, effect.
Common Examples of Pun
There are thousands of common puns in English; many languages have their own puns as well. Puns are quite frequent in everyday language. You may have heard or used the following ones in regular conversations:
Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
Make like a tree and leave.
Put that down, it's nacho cheese.
Some businesses have puns in their names. For example:
Hairdressing salon: Curl Up and Dye
Lawyers office: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
Ophthalmologist: For Eyes
Some people consider puns to be quite foolish and worthy only of eye-rolls or groans. However, puns can require a good deal of knowledge on the part of the audience (especially in recursive puns, as explained above). If the puns are particularly clever they are rewarding for the reader or listener when they decipher the pun. Many famous authors used puns to great effect, perhaps none more so than William Shakespeare. Shakespeare used language with such dexterity that his puns often delight and surprise the reader.