Friday, June 8, 2007

The difference between irony and sarcasm – a Primer

I am lead to believe that it is common practice for young girls of 16 or 18 to be given the birthday present of a boob job. This is probably an urban myth.

But in Victorian times, in England, young women of means, were given a similar gift, namely, they had all their teeth removed and were presented with a set of perfect dentures. This is not an urban myth, even ignoring the time factor. My Grandmother was given this gift. It has been my abiding fear that I too would end up with false teeth. Given this predisposition it was hard to refuse the advice of the American dental profession = you need braces or all your teeth will fall out and you will have to wear dentures. It was only after my fourth visit home to witness my own mother’s situation regarding false teeth that finally persuaded me to capitulate and avoid the certain doom of dentures.

I chat with my British pal.
“Still got the old braces on then? How long has it been now?”
“Three and a half years.”
“So the surgery went o.k. but you still can’t eat.”
“Correct.”
“All those elastic bands look a mess.”
“Very fiddly.”
“You still sound like crap.”
“Verily.” = sarcasm
“How much longer?”
“Probably another year.”
“This must be costing you an absolute fortune?”
“America has dental insurance.” = sarcasm
“So what’s next?”
“A partial at the bottom.”
“You mean false teeth?”
“Yup. Only 4 that’s why it’s called a partial.”
“Hang on a minute. Didn’t you say that the purpose of all this was to avoid ending up with false teeth like your mum?”
“Correct.” = irony
"But why?"
"Bone loss."
"Well find it!" = sarcasm
"Where?"
“How long do the false teeth hold up?”
“In a partial? About 5 to 7 years if you’re lucky.”
“What then?”
“I have absolutely no idea.”
“So they want you to go for the implants then?”
“Yup.”
“Why aren’t you going for that?”
“Approximately 15 grand.”
“Pounds, Euros or dollars?”
“Who cares?”
“No hidden extras?” = sarcasm
“Give or take 15%.” = sarcasm
“How long before you’d be able to eat properly again?”
“After implants? Probably 6 months.”
“But that will be that, you’ll be done?”
“There are no guarantees.”
“A really bright future then.” = sarcasm “What are you going to do?”
“?”

2 comments:

Oh, The Joys said...

Dental woes are the WORST!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I never knew that about Victorian England. No wonder everyone looked so surly in their formal portraits.