QueenTiye, on May 24 2005, 11:45 PM, said:
Ability to detect sarcasm is also probably the same as the ability to detect lies. I'd think that's an evolutionary advantage...
Hmm, good point. So it's not that we evolved to be sarcastic, but that sarcasm emerged as a spinoff from a trait we did need to evolve. The ability arose for one reason, and we adapted it for another use, as a form of humor.
Still, it is a little odd when you think about it, or at least when I think about it. I sometimes wonder if alien species would lack sarcasm and find it a weird custom in us. But if it's an offshoot of the ability to detect deception and read hidden meaning -- vital in any social species -- then maybe any social species of alien would have the capacity for sarcasm. (They might not be able to recognize it in us, due to our having different nonverbal cues, but they could recognize it in each other. And one species could probably learn to recognize another's cues to some extent given enough time.)
SilverNeonASH, on May 25 2005, 02:41 AM, said:
Sarcasm came into being because this concept of free speech is still a relatively new thing. In the past, to speak the truth, often gave the speaker a terribly short life span. In many parts of the world, this is still true. As governments moved toward democracy, specifically England, free speech began creeping into the language, beginning with sarcasm, until it was elevated to an artform. Youth today, has little comprehension, nor ability toward sarcasm. They have never known oppression.
If it had been a cultural thing like that, it wouldn't be wired into our brains. And it wouldn't be as universal as it is.
And I doubt you'd find any child who would agree that he or she has never been oppressed, never been able to speak his or her mind freely without reprisal. Well, except for those raised without adult supervision.