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What is the difference between irony and sarcasm?


The mind works best and faster way to an ironic comment. In addition, it has been shown to have this 'gift' brings advantages when socializing.

Most people around the world are launching ironic and sarcastic comments from time to time, but ironic people express their sense of humor through irony, by phrases that defy literal understanding.

The ironic and sarcastic govern everything and show more wit and intelligence than any other personality type.

The definitions of irony and sarcasm according to the Royal Spanish Academy are: 

  • Irony: "rhetorical Figure that is to imply the opposite of what is said."
  • Sarcasm: "Mockery bloody, scathing and cruel irony with which he is offended or mistreated someone or something."

The similarity between the two concepts is that sarcasm is a kind of irony, so in both figures suggests something different from what actually being saying. However, there is a difference as to the purpose: sarcasm is used with the intent of hurting someone's feelings.

Irony and sarcasm are almost the primary language of society today. Constantly ironic and sarcastic people are carrying the conversation today.

The real legitimacy of ironic people is in order to practice his art, first unfolds on itself, and that is willing to serve as an inspiration to the irony of others.

Many people who identify themselves as ironic, say they cannot avoid audacious comments. For them, it is a form an essential form of expression in their daily lives.

Sarcasm is much more sharper than irony and can become perverse, offensive and malicious, the sarcastic does not necessarily have good sense of humor. The sarcastic enjoys thinking up sharpnesses over others, but often does not allow comments on it self.


The irony is much more subtle and light, usually applied on oneself and then can be applied to a third party in the conversation. Sarcastic is not always well received and does not apply it on itself, so it is very easy for sarcastic comments to be misconstrued.

Irony can be a sign of good brain health. Several investigations suggest that the irony may be beneficial for cognitive function. In fact, the inability to detect irony can be a symptom of the existence of problems or brain diseases such as dementia.

Irony helps to choose friends. People tend to be more ironic when surrounded by their loved ones. It is therefore very important to surround themselves with people who appreciate his sense of humor, something that according to several studies, is essential for social relations. Ironic people appreciate that others, besides tolerate their comments, respond in the same way.

Irony helps demonstrate affection, sometimes "I hate you" means "I love you" for the ironic people.

The sarcastic people often show affection with scathing remarks, therefore, psychologists recommend to be careful with this kind of feedback for the benefit of certain relationships, because what the sarcastic may seem funny to other people it seems hostile.

Sarcasm increases creativity. According to a recent study, it is possible that sarcastic people are ingenious. The participants of the research that made snide remarks, like the people who received those comments, obtained better results in the test of creativity. Thus, sarcasm could boost abstract thinking.

While irony can help reduce the stress of an uncomfortable situation, it is true that sarcasm can be unattractive at times.


The irony dominates the world. Many researches have been carried out for some time to study and learn more about the irony in society.Children are exposed to irony from an early age, making them understand it, even before attending school.

The sarcastic people think to another level. Some people say that sarcasm is the worst show of wit and the best example of intelligence.

Possibly it is true, because sarcasm is a good exercise for the brain. According to research published by the Smithsonian magazine, the brain has to work harder to process the snide comments, which can result in obtaining a better capacity for problem solving.

Sarcasm and irony plays a crucial role in human society. The inability for their detection in today's society, it is more a handicap than a help, according to experts.

Some studies indicate that sarcasm and irony may have an evolutionary advantage, because of the key role it plays in social interactions. It is possible that the audacious and scathing comments are simply part of human behavior.

Sarcasm can reveal the origin of the people. Varies depending on the region and immediate culture. A study in US college, came to the conclusion that 56% of participants in the north of the country, conceived of the sarcasm as fun, while only 35% of participants from the southern states of the country, found it funny.


Many authors have used irony notably in his writings, such as Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde or Jane Austen.

  • Examples of irony:

 ‘Silence is the only friend that never betrays.’ - Confucius

‘Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I will spend no time in reading it.’ - Moses Hadas

  • Examples of sarcasm: 

  ‘A poor fool will always be a fool. A rich fool will always be rich.’- Paul Lafitte

  ‘I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like you have here’ - Stephen Bishop