chapter  17
Irony and Sarcasm
ByHerbert L. Colston
Pages 16

Sarcasm is generally considered a nasty, mean-spirited or just relatively negative form of verbal irony, used on occasion to enhance the negativity expressed relative to direct, non-figurative criticism. This account initially noted that "irony as a figure of speech" approaches were inadequate, which included the Opposition, standard pragmatic model (SPM)-and by extension older Speech Act explanations not reviewed here, as well as the Graded Salience Account. The alternative view that is presented is in line with and is similar to the Allusional Pretense and Contrast Accounts in that it argues that verbal irony must be based more broadly than on a simple violation of the Gricean Quality maxim. The Embodied Simulation Account applied to verbal irony may seem to rekindle the debate regarding single vs. multiple stages, as is still being waged by the Relevant Inappropriateness, Graded Salience, Direct Access and Contrast accounts.