Sarcasm makes my world go ’round.

Week 16 of my 26-week Book Challenge is another interlude. This means that I’m technically only at week 12, and with all the interludes I’ve planned it’s going to total 37 weeks. Confused yet? You will be.

This interlude is for the challenge that is a character that you can relate to the most. I’m not skipping it as such – not in the sense that I cannot/refuse to give an answer to it – but I cannot devote an entire post to it. The reason for that is that I’d end up repeating last week’s post.

The basic fact is that the character I can relate to the most is Granny Weatherwax. I share her grumpy nature, her impatience with stupid people, the overall feeling that people should just bloody well sort themselves out already and not always rely on other people to do what they could easily do themselves. This feeling has been exacerbated by my daytime job, where for the past three days I have done nothing but reply to questions from people on a new massive project that’s hit, and half of those questions can be answered with ‘RTFM’. Granny is not a people person, and neither am I.

One thing that Granny isn’t particularly known for, however is her sarcasm. I think she can be, but it’s not one of her defining characteristics. Not like it is for someone like Locke Lamora, who thrives on sarcasm. And if there is one thing that makes me go weak in the knees for a character, it’s sarcasm.

They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but I suspect that ‘they’ are those people who don’t understand why it’s funny. I know that sarcasm in its truest form involves derision, but I’m okay with that. As I said, I’m not a people person, so as far as I’m concerned a lot of people deserve derision.

Now, before this makes me look like a totally despicable person, the ‘people’ I’m not the person for are ‘people’ as a whole. I have friends (though I’m the person to have a few really good ones rather than an army of drinking buddies) and I’d walk through fire for them; I’m just not the kind of person to work myself into a sweat to save some idiot from some stupid situation they got themselves into. Let’s face it, my husband doesn’t get sympathy when he’s hungover after getting drunk the night before (a rare event, I should add), so why should anyone I don’t know get sympathy for things more stupid than that?

Shit, that still makes me sound like I’m horrible. Okay, I can be. But I can also be really nice. Mind you, that does tend to surprise people. Eh, just ask my friends, okay? The good ones, not the random acquaintances.

Ahem, moving on. The basic fact is that sarcasm is funny. Why does Loki steal the show in any Avengers or Thor film he’s in? Because he’s such a deliciously sarcastic bastard you’ve just got to love him. Is he a dick? Hell yes, but you forgive him for it because he’s a funny dick. This pretty much counts for Tony Stark as well. Put the two of them in a room together and the universe might just implode from sarcastic overload. I have a future post planned on my favourite villain, and (part of) the reason I’ve chosen that particular villain is because he’s so sarcastic.

Sarcasm is very unapologetic, and one thing that I’ve learned in my life so far (or maybe it’s just because I’m Dutch) is that there’s no point in being apologetic if you’re not sorry. Did I stand on your toes? Shouldn’t have moved when I wasn’t expecting it then. I’ll apologise if it was my fault, but if it wasn’t then you can wait a long time for an apology.*

*Please note that I do this mainly to my long-suffering husband, not to total strangers. That would just be rude.

So there you have it. Even if your character is a complete and utter arsehole (Snape! Dr Cox from Scrubs!), I’ll still love him or her, provided they’re sarcastic.

What character trait makes your heart go all gooey for a character? Tell me about it in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Sarcasm makes my world go ’round.

  1. Lauren

    I think I know why sarcasm is called the lowest form of wit. A very… old-fashioned professor of mine explained that it comes from a word meaning to tear at something violently, whereas irony means to cut neatly, or with surgical precision. He said sarcasm is just hurling insults (like calling someone ugly or stupid), which completely confused the whole class because we all used the more modern definition of sarcasm, which is really more like irony (somehow this professor had completely failed to notice the change). So I think the lowest form of wit thing is just a leftover from a definition of sarcasm that nobody uses anymore.

    Anyway, I’m totally with you on sarcastic characters, they make the world a better place 😀

    1. Erica Dakin Post author

      I was actually quite surprised to see the dictionary definition of sarcasm, since I use it a lot broader than that, but yeah, even the dictionary says it’s more than just hurling insults… What he said is the opposite of sarcasm! If you want to sarcastically call someone stupid you’d say ‘oh, you’re really bright, aren’t you?’ in a sarcastic tone of voice!

      Bah, shows what some professors know.

  2. tktrian

    Sarcastic characters are great in fiction, but if done wrong, they can come off annoying and bitchy. Funny you should mention Dr. Cox. He’s entertaining (“I care so little I almost passed out”), but would probably not be very well-liked in real life. In fiction one can go further with sarcasm and still make the characters get along. In real life, it’s often more pleasant to sit down for a lunch with a nice person instead of someone with whom you have to watch your every word. Also, people with authority; teachers and bosses for example, they can afford to be sarcastic from time to time. If a stranger does that, they’ll easily end up looking like snarky dicks xP

    Sarcastic characters are fun to write as well, and to many people quite relatable. Don’t we all wish we had that witty quip at the ready when your co-worker is being dim or your best friend’s new squeeze turns out to be a totall ass…


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