Sarcasm is commonly associated with geeks and nerds, but I believe this to be an incorrect association. I think that a geek’s bluntness is often taken as sarcasm. Geeks are very straightforward in their speech, so why would they use irony to try and convey a message? It just does not fit. I think that geeks are more likely to not understand sarcasm than to use it. An example of this is Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.
Although Sheldon may be more nerd than geek, he paints us a good picture of a geek’s relation to sarcasm. Chapter two of our textbook says that geeks use their words to transmit information. It is precise and literal. This is why Sheldon has a hard time understanding when Penny is using sarcasm. People may think that Sheldon is as sarcastic as Penny throughout the show, but that is just his bluntness being misinterpreted by the audiences’ preconceived notion that sarcasm and geeks go hand in hand.
Not all geeks are entirely illiterate to the ways of sarcasm. For those geeks that learn to use sarcasm, it can become a tool to use against non-geeks when they are not interested in the current conversation. Dr. House from the show House, M.D. shows us just how brutal a geek can be when he has learned the art of sarcasm.
Many people view Dr. House as a jerk, and even that is putting it nicely. I do not entirely disagree, but I also think that House is just a medical geek that has learned to use sarcasm to his advantage. Unlike Sheldon, House does have fairly good communication skills. He just does not like to use them. This is why he seems like such a terrible person. He does not want to talk to anyone without there being a point to the conversation, so as soon as the useful part of the conversation is over he turns on his ruthless sarcasm to end it. I think this may be a more accurate depiction of how geeks handle sarcasm in society today. I feel as if sarcasm has become more prevalent in society today than it was in the past, and geeks have had to adjust. I am sure that there are still some people that have a hard time deciphering sarcasm to it’s fullest, but it would probably be hard to find someone that does not understand sarcasm at all.
My own personal experience with sarcasm does not really follow the line of the geek. I have a fairly good grasp on when someone is being sarcastic, or at least trying to be, and I have a tendency to be very sarcastic myself. Some of my favorite shows are full of sarcastic characters, and my girlfriend is the queen of sarcasm. This is another example of why we should avoid putting people into little boxes when we try to categorize them. I agree with the book on a lot of what it says about the way geeks communicate. I like conversations that have an actual purpose when I am speaking to someone that I do not personally care for, and I will interrupt the same people to ask questions if they are talking nonsense. I think the book has some very good points, but they should definitely be taken with a grain of salt, just like anything else that depicts groups of people in a specific way.
I would like to leave you with this quote on sarcasm.
‘Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.’ – Oscar Wilde