Tuesday, October 20, 2009



Seems I committed Sat-IRE ( lingistic games)

I offended my daughter with my blog post yesterday when I slammed fall. (inflation)

I then got to thinking about my writing. I grew up in New York where sarcastic quips were routinely served up in every conversation. No one or no thing was sacred. All that counted was getting a laugh at best, a rise at least. Yeah, my sarcasm could get pretty mean.(self-effacing)

However, I'm not mean-spirited. Even to Mother Nature. So damn it! Why do I feel bothered? (incongruity)

And then that silly little muse of mine (invective, exaggeration) kept thumping my brain and told me to look up the word satire in the dictionary. And I did.

Here are a few definitions. (for real)

And devices! (Who knew there were devices for satire?)

Satire: When a writer strongly disagrees with something and makes that prominent in his or her writing, satire is what is created. Satire examples prove that it is required that the author of a satirical piece be witty, and potentially funny, even though humor does not make satire what it is. 


There are two types of satire: Horatian and Juvenalian
Horatian satire is:  tolerant, witty, wise and self-effacing
Juvenalian satire is: angry, caustic, resentful, personal

Satiric Devices
1.     Humor
A.    exaggeration: the formalized walk of Charlie Chaplin, the facial and body contortions of Jim Carrey
B.    understatement: Fielding’s description of a grossly fat and repulsively ugly Mrs. Slipslop: “She was not remarkably handsome.”
C.    incongruity
D.    deflation: the English professor mispronounces a word, the President slips and bangs his head leaving the helicopter, etc.
E.     linguistic games: malapropisms, weird rhymes, etc.
F.     surprise: twist endings, unexpected events

2.     Inflation: taking a real-life situation and blowing it out of proportion to make it ridiculous and showcase its faults
3.     Diminution: taking a real-life situation and reducing it to make it ridiculous and showcase its faults
4.     Irony: Literary device in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does, and what one means or what is generally understood.
5.     Invective: name calling, personal abuse, etc.
6.     Mock Encomium: praise which is only apparent and which suggests blame instead
7.     Grotesque: creating a tension between laughter and horror or revulsion; the essence of all “sick humor: or “black humor”
8.     Comic Juxtaposition: linking together with no commentary items which normally do not go together; Pope’s line in Rape of the Lock: “Puffs, patches, bibles, and billet-doux”
9.     Mock Epic/Mock Heroic: using elevated diction and devices from the epic or the heroic to  deal with low or trivial subjects
10.  Parody: mimicking the style and/or techniques of something or someone else 


Seems I write a combination of Horatian and Juvenalian satire (understatement) in an attempt
to be humoro . . .


"Juvenalian?" Isn't that where the word juvenile comes from?

Oh, WOW!

Don't you see?

Juvenalian = juvenile = kid = kidding = I'm not mean-spirited = I'm just kidding!

Always, Em-Musing

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