Writer. Thinker. Strategist. Creative Tight Rope Walker.

Writing Sarcasm: It Can’t Be Taught

By Josh Utley [and his perfectionist boss]

Anyone who tells you they can teach you to write is a liar. Sure, they can help you to make better use of your words and easily spot grammar errors. At its core though, writing is not a teachable skill — the same goes for sarcasm because sometimes you just don’t have what it takes.  [Dude, I teach you about writing every day.  Okay, so now I know you ignore my advice.]

However, that doesn’t mean it cannot be learned, honed and, with years of practice, mastered. All that means is that the only thing of substance you ever took away from your English 101 class was hopefully proper sentence structure in which to express your sarcasm [in a grammatically correct way].

So, how does a blog on writing sarcasm have much anything to do with just basic writing? Well to be blunt, you can’t write sarcastically, crass, and all around offensive if you don’t know how to write.  [It has nothing to do with each other but really it does in so many ways.]

Just like you can’t write horror or erotic novels or whatever the hell people like these days if you don’t first know how to write. Start with the basics when trying to be a comedic writer and learn to write. Once you have done that, well then you can move on [ to infusing those words with sarcastic intent].

Sarcasm 101

Walk into the class, take a seat, and please for the love of god turn off your cell phone. This is Sarcasm 101 — How do you learn to write sarcasm? Is being witty and crass the same as being sarcastic? Will we be reading ‘Choke’? All these questions will be answered in the next sentence. You don’t learn to write sarcasm; the sarcastic wish they were witty and crass; and if you have not already read, ‘Choke,’ then shame on you! [There is no hope for anyone wanting to be sarcastic if they have not read this book!]

Seriously though, being sarcastic isn’t something you teach; it’s just something you do. It’s something you develop almost like a defense mechanism — actually I am pretty sure that is exactly what it is. [No, it’s not.]

If you have the gift of writing wittily and with a crass sense of humor, then please don’t try and replace that with sarcasm. What you have is a gift what I have makes people say, “What an a—hole.” [I know a lot of those!]

Oh and really please go read ‘Choke’ because it is full of clever inspiration for the dark soul looking into comedy. [Don’t tell everyone – there are many who would not understand it.]

If I Have Taught You Anything

I hope it is that practice makes perfect flaws. [I have a lot of perfect flaws, hey now.]

Practicing wrong makes the habit of doing wrong, but if you are a writer that really can’t happen. Get a degree in English Literature and learn the basics. [Umm, my degree is a piece of paper collecting dust that I may use one day if I need to start a fire.]

From there, write till your fingertips bleed. Weaved words and stories are never perfect and it is their lack of perfection that turns them on to the masses. [No, the masses have the IQ of a blob.]

So, good luck, keep at it, and if you are one of those sarcastic types, tone it down some; people hate feeling dumb. [Never toning it down; they feel stupid because they are dumb. Is that a harshly elitist thing to say?]

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