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Do the Brits take irony/sarcasm too far? watch

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    Do we? Is there a climate in the UK, or at least England, of a fear of being "over-serious", of being humourless, or of being vulnerable to cynicism/irony? (This appears to irritate Americans at times, sometimes i think they're humourless, other times i think they have a point) Is it damaging or does it have any positive effects?
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    Do we? Is there a climate in the UK, or at least England, of a fear of being "over-serious", of being humourless, or of being vulnerable to cynicism/irony? Is it damaging or does it have positive effects?
    Yeah, of course we take it too far, we should go back to misery and Plague :wink:

    No! British sarcasm is the best! No offence, but American comedy is plain awful. (Apart from Friends which is one of the best comedies ever made!)
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    Do we? Is there a climate in the UK, or at least England, of a fear of being "over-serious", of being humourless, or of being vulnerable to cynicism/irony? Is it damaging or does it have positive effects?
    I always think of us as being the heartbeat of europe. Most europeans APPEAR to be not as serious as us. Their pace of life is much slower and i think ours is very rushed. Materialistically i think its better, health-wise i think our arrogance, sarcasm and "over seriousness" is bad for our health.
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    (Original post by melbourne)
    I always think of us as being the heartbeat of europe. Most europeans APPEAR to be not as serious as us. Their pace of life is much slower and i think ours is very rushed. Materialistically i think its better, health-wise i think our arrogance, sarcasm and "over seriousness" is bad for our health.
    I'm not sure about other Europeans being less serious....imagine the average London working man going to a philosophy cafe like they do in Paris.....and taking it seriously??
    I thought Europeans thought that everything in Britain always has to be a joke...? Are you sure they have a slower pace of life...eg Germany?...as for arrogance, what about the Germans and the French??
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    (Original post by Northumbrian)
    Apart from Friends which is one of the best comedies ever made!
    i disagree with that bit!!!!!! i cannot stand friends!!! it drives me insane! the best american comedy has to be M*A*S*H* (ok so its really old - but they say its the golden oldies!!)
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    Yeah, we're waaaay too sarcastic in Britain. If anything, we should all be forced never to even try and make light of any situation. People caught being ironic should be rounded up and placed in detention facilities where they can be taught to concentrate on the serious issues of the day. People who don't learn the necessity of constant solemnity in these concentration camps need to be shipped out to the ultimate corrective institute, Germany, where they can be subjected to a complete and utter lack of humour. Anyone who, after a period of a year, still displays signs of a sense of humour in Germany deserves, indeed demands, full execution. The British Empire would still be standing now if we hadn't been brought down by the terror of irony, the enemy within.
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    (Original post by Tomorrow2Day)
    Yeah, we're waaaay too sarcastic in Britain. If anything, we should all be forced never to even try and make light of any situation. People caught being ironic should be rounded up and placed in detention facilities where they can be taught to concentrate on the serious issues of the day. People who don't learn the necessity of constant solemnity in these concentration camps need to be shipped out to the ultimate corrective institute, Germany, where they can be subjected to a complete and utter lack of humour. Anyone who, after a period of a year, still displays signs of a sense of humour in Germany deserves, indeed demands, full execution. The British Empire would still be standing now if we hadn't been brought down by the terror of irony, the enemy within.
    You sarcastic **** See it DOES piss me off
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    thats just ridiculus! i mean being put in detention camps for being ironic??? and being sarcastic??? that is going way too far! if we don't try to make light of some situations then we will be the most boring people in the universe!!! no sarcasm and irony???? i couldn't live without it!!! when you're stuck for words being sarcastic can make you sound less like a fool!
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    (Original post by trish xx)
    thats just ridiculus! i mean being put in detention camps for being ironic??? and being sarcastic??? that is going way too far! if we don't try to make light of some situations then we will be the most boring people in the universe!!! no sarcasm and irony???? i couldn't live without it!!! when you're stuck for words being sarcastic can make you sound less like a fool!
    Umm...He was being sarcastic...is this double irony or something? If it is, then you've definitely taken it too far
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    oops silly me!!
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    I'd understand about people taking things too seriously if you were criticising the Germans for their apparent lack of humour. But yeah British sarcasm is great.
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    Do we? Is there a climate in the UK, or at least England, of a fear of being "over-serious", of being humourless, or of being vulnerable to cynicism/irony? (This appears to irritate Americans at times, sometimes i think they're humourless, other times i think they have a point) Is it damaging or does it have any positive effects?
    It doesn't irritate me at all. Irony and sarcasm are common tools for humour in Chinese and Singaporean cultures too.
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    (Original post by vivado)
    It doesn't irritate me at all. Irony and sarcasm are common tools for humour in Chinese and Singaporean cultures too.
    But overdone?
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    But overdone?

    I don't think so. If anything, I believe American comedy is too light, with a greater emphasis on 'toilet humour' than other cultures.

    An interesting comment in the paper a few weeks ago, discussing the same topic, referred to British humour as much darker, sinister and more ironic than the North American.
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    No, sarcasm and irony are so much fun... if you understand them, that is. I love Americans who can't get their heads around it, and have to say:
    "[insert sarcastic comment here]... NOT."
    :hahaha:
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    (Original post by skevvybritt)
    No, sarcasm and irony are so much fun... if you understand them, that is. I love Americans who can't get their heads around it, and have to say:
    "[insert sarcastic comment here]... NOT."
    :hahaha:

    hehe

    my favourite comment (forget where i read it) was "Americans need more roundabouts to better understand British humour" :rofl:
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    (Original post by naivesincerity)
    But overdone?
    From my personal experience, I don't think it's overdone in general. Also, I see it more as an inclination rather than a vulnerability. I prefer intellectual humour which often employs irony, sacarsm and exaggeration and requires background knowledge before one 'gets it', and do follow a particular old British comedy quite ardently. Nonetheless I've also been tickled by a certain Montreal comedy show called Just for Laughs (anyone watched it?).

    I suspect Americans are not exactly humourless in finding it an irritation because they may not understand it and/or are unused to such forms of humour. Americans are generally straightforward in their linguistic expression; they mean what they say.
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    (Original post by vivado)
    From my personal experience, I don't think it's overdone in general. Also, I see it more as an inclination rather than a vulnerability. I prefer intellectual humour which often employs irony, sacarsm and exaggeration and requires background knowledge before one 'gets it', and do follow a particular old British comedy quite ardently. Nonetheless I've also been tickled by a certain Montreal comedy show called Just for Laughs (anyone watched it?).
    Yeah! Montreal is great - they have a whole comedy week and stuff.
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    (Original post by vivado)
    I suspect Americans are not exactly humourless in finding it an irritation because they may not understand it and/or are unused to such forms of humour. Americans are generally straightforward in their linguistic expression; they mean what they say.
    quite true, and our comedies are worlds apart too. they can't do subtle. they just can't do it. if a comedy in america has subtle references, and 'clever' humour it invariably gets a small cult following and is cancelled (family guy for instance). our comedy is well appreciated by americna critics, but most the mainstream need you to really point out the joke in order to notice it.
    thats why i dont likje many american comedies. too obvious. and too much damned canned laughter!!!!
    are we too sarcy? perhaps, but its very britsh...
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    (Original post by foolfarian)
    quite true, and our comedies are worlds apart too. they can't do subtle. they just can't do it. if a comedy in america has subtle references, and 'clever' humour it invariably gets a small cult following and is cancelled (family guy for instance). our comedy is well appreciated by americna critics, but most the mainstream need you to really point out the joke in order to notice it.
    thats why i dont likje many american comedies. too obvious. and too much damned canned laughter!!!!
    are we too sarcy? perhaps, but its very britsh...

    That's also why so many British comedies work really well in Britain but are complete flops when Americans try to reinvent them for their own purposes. I believe the American version of 'the office' lasted about a month, if at that.
 
 
 
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