It happens to all of us. Sometimes light hearted jokes may come off as total insults to those we tell them to. Then we look like complete jackasses, unintentionally of course..
Take for instance the following conversation between BF and GF, a cute couple, window shopping for yoga pants. BF sees a particular pair of ugly ones (yoga pants) and says..
BF: “Damn, those look nice”
GF: “What’s nice about them?”
BF: “I was being sarcasti– ironic”
The statement “I was being sarcasti– ironic” is the real bone of contention in this case, which I will now analyse..
BF has made a sarcastic comment about the yoga pants by saying they look nice when they actually look stupid. He hopes that GF will notice the glaring disparity in his logic and find it funny, maybe laugh.
But it goes over her head and instead, GF asks him to explain his comment. So he is in damage control. His initial impulse is to say it was sarcastic but he makes the switch to ironic instead. He doesn’t want her to think he was messing with her head on purpose just for fun, so he goes for the lighter term “ironic” which implies he was only messing with the language OR
BF feels ironic will be an easier concept for her to understand than sarcastic, since she exhibits a lapse in the knowledge of sarcasm. Because GF did not grasp his earlier joke, BF assumes she is not used to sarcasm, and takes it out of the statement. so he’s thinking Mission accomplished! but what he doesn’t know is..
GF did not pay attention to the first statement. so she did not notice the obscure wittiness in ‘Damn, those look nice‘ she actually believes he thinks the hideous pair of yoga pants looks nice and is trying to understand why. She understands the concept of Sarcasm, but only just realises BF was being sarcastic, when he says…
“I was being sarcasti-ironic”
Now GF’s feeling’s are hurt, because she thinks BF does not think her smart enough to understand sarcasm when she actually does,
but she was only a bit slow on the uptake OR
GF actually understands the sarcasm perfectly, in fact she understands it so much, it does not evoke any emotion when he says “Damn, those look nice”
It is in fact BF that does not understand the sarcasm in her statement “what’s nice about them”… here, GF has given BF the opportunity to continue the conversation in sarcasm to satisfy his ego. She has given him leeway to keep cracking jokes, and a listening ear, but BF mistakes it as a flaw in her understanding,
She thinks, BF thinks she’s stupid, and pities her enough not to tell her… now GF’s feelings are hurt, OR
GF does not understand both the terms “sarcastic” and “ironic” and thinks BF has uttered a new word “sarcastironic” which is an alien term to her. She feels too ashamed to ask what the ‘word’ means so she acts like she knows. GF feels bad she could not detect the sarcastironism earlier.
GF may also think “sarcastironism” a rare medical condition BF never told her about. She begins to think BF is hiding things from her. now GF’s feelings are hurt, OR
GF likes the pair of yoga pants, and is enthused when BF makes the statement “Damn, those look nice”
She believes BF shares her passion in admiring them and encourages him to bring his feelings into the limelight, so she can meet him halfway. Unfortunately, BF encores with Sarcasm/Irony/Sarcastironism.
now GF’s feelings are hurt, OR
GF HATES the pair of yoga pants, and wants to see them die. The fact that BF has paid them any attention only intensifies her hatred for the product. She is displeased with BF’s response in any form..
“What’s NICE about them?”
GF’s feelings are hurt bad
Keep Calm and Buy Yoga pants