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CCC On Humor, irony and sarcasm

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  • Susanne Nyrop
    Cross cultural differences and simillarities among group members is indeed an interesting topic to discuss further. I think that we may have developed a kind
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2002
      Cross cultural differences and simillarities among group members is
      indeed an interesting topic to discuss further. I think that we may have
      developed a kind of internal Webhead lingo to amuse ourselves and
      signalize our local insider position. Just think of all the personal
      hints to previous sessions where we did have some kind of fun; probably
      most of these small brain teasers are impossible for the newbie or
      occasional participant to grasp. This may be an implicit part of the
      humor available to the uses of simple Tapped In features - but this
      kind of inside humor develops over time, I believe. Think of how often
      food is coming up. Not always in very relevant situations, just inserted
      for fun, and maybe to create a feeling of sutiatedness, or being there
      together, sharing something tangible. Or, just look at the way we
      sometimes use the mood option: SusanneN [narrowminded]

      Rita mentions how teachers try to balance the blatant tv language with
      solemnity -

      . "People here tend to be either overtly humourous or standoffish. TV
      fosters "blatant" language, while teachers demand "solemnity". Still in a
      process of change, I guess.
      It´s quite enriching to hear and compare more...
      Best, Rita"

      And Michael was surprised of the Dutch blatant humor performed on tv.

      I found this amazing passage on a homepage for international students at
      the Unversity of Aarhus, Denmark, and even if this kind of generalization
      might be too narrow, there is some truth to this, especially about
      informal directness and a general tendency to use sarcasm. Below, I quote
      a longer passage so you get the context

      THE DANES (the name for people in Denmark)

      Danes are known to be friendly and easy-going. However, they are sometimes
      considered to be somewhat reserved and private people. Thus, they rarely
      take the initiative to meet new people. However, this should not
      discourage foreigners. The majority of Danes love to meet people from
      other cultural backgrounds and to practise their language skills, but it
      will probably be up to the foreigner to take the first step to make new
      contacts. A good way to do so is to join in social activities. Since
      sports and other social activities mainly take place off campus, it is a
      good idea to join one of the many sport clubs or social organisations. As
      soon as those first few weeks have passed most people will find that Danes
      are really quite sociable.

      Danes tend to be rather relaxed and informal regarding both manners and
      language. For instance, professors are often addressed by their first
      name. This is not a sign of disrespect but is based on the horizontal
      Danish social "hierarchy." Furthermore, the Danish language is very direct
      and thus might in some cases seem impolite. Thus, when Danes communicate
      in a foreign language they often continue to speak in this direct manner
      without intending to be impolite.

      Sarcasm and irony are also common features of the Danish culture and they
      are often the most difficult forms of expression for foreigners to grasp.
      Do not feel put off or offended by Danes using sarcasm, they just cannot
      help it. "

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