What does sardonic mean?

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DDEckerslyke:
Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head round what sardonic means. How is it distinct from ironic? Could someone put it into the context of a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.
cheers
dd
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Donna Richoux:
[nq:1]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head round what sardonic means. How is it distinct from ironic? Could someone put it into the context of a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.[/nq]
"Sardonic" often describes the speaker, the speaker's mood, and especially the facial expression. You can look sardonic but I don't think you can look ironic, not exactly.
I don't know about the fine distinctions of "a sardonic remark." People around here can't even agree about the more ordinary words "ironic" and "sarcastic" pondal differences, apparently.

Best Donna Richoux
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Arcadian Rises:
[nq:1]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head round what sardonic means. How is it distinct from ironic? Could someone put it into the context of a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.[/nq]
Ironic is funny most of the times. Sarcastic may be funny sometimes, provided if you are not the target of sarcasm. Sardonic may only sound funny but it's never funny, because it implies bitterness. One example of sardonic humor : "good news, you don't need to attend the PTA meeting next Wednesday! (because your child is dead)" .
Sorry, I can't come up with a better example but I hope you've got the picture.
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John Dean:
[nq:2]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head ... a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.[/nq]
[nq:1]"Sardonic" often describes the speaker, the speaker's mood, and especially the facial expression. You can look sardonic but I don't ... sardonic remark." People around here can't even agree about the more ordinary words "ironic" and "sarcastic" pondal differences, apparently.[/nq]
'sardonic' has an element of cruelty or mocking. 'ironic' can be quite impersonal or even well-intentioned.

John Dean
Oxford
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Alan Jones:
[nq:1]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head round what sardonic means. How is it distinct from ironic? Could someone put it into the context of a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.[/nq]
An ironic comment states the opposite of what is intended: e.g. "Very amusing! How very clever!" in reference to a foolish or tasteless attempt at a joke.
A sardonic comment expresses a feeling or attitude in a sour or bleakly world-weary way, and need not be ironic. The "very amusing" example could be both ironic and sardonic, or could be said in an apparently approving and non-sardonic way, leaving the irony implied rather than directly expressed. The supposedly typical British irony is of this veiled, implicit kind, leaving non-British people unaware of disapproval only too obvious to most others who hear it, or perhaps - knowing what we Brits are like - suspicious of every kindly remark, assuming it may be ironic.

Sarcasm is irony directed at a victim who must either hear and understand it or at least be expected to hear of it, whereas a sardonic remark is made to a bystander with no intention of hurting a victim or even muttered to oneself. It could be e.g. about politics or the weather rather than a person, and invites the hearer's agreement rather than causing offence. The joke example would be sarcastic irony if meant to be heard by the offender, but sardonic irony if addressed to a bystander who is assumed to share the ironist's disapproval.
Alan Jones
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Simon R. Hughes:
Thus spake Arcadian Rises:
[nq:2]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head ... a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated.[/nq]
[nq:1]Ironic is funny most of the times.[/nq]
Tell that to Oedipus! To Faust! To Des Jungen Werther!

You get the idea. Irony is an umbrella-term that encompasses both of the below, and a whole host of other ironies.
[nq:1]Sarcastic may be funny sometimes, provided if you are not the target of sarcasm.[/nq]
But, on the other hand, sarcasm is always very serious because of its barbs.
[nq:1]Sardonic may only sound funny but it's never funny, because it implies bitterness. One example of sardonic humor : "good ... child is dead)" . Sorry, I can't come up with a better example but I hope you've got the picture.[/nq]
Simon R. Hughes
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DE781:
[nq:1]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head round what sardonic means. How is it distinct from ironic? Could someone put it into the context of a sentence to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated. cheers dd[/nq]
I have a Generation X comic book (the first one, I believe). It came out when I was like 13 or 14, and was featured online for free for quite some time. The rich, spoiled *** on the team, Monet St. Croix, makes a snide comment. Someone else asks her what her tone was, and she replies something like "ironic at best, sardonic at worst". I couldn't understand what this meant when I was 13 or 14. And I recently reread the comic and STILL couldn't understand it. Is there a major difference between "ironic" and "sardonic"?
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Michael West:
[nq:2]"Sardonic" often describes the speaker, the speaker's mood, and especially ... more ordinary words "ironic" and "sarcastic" pondal differences, apparently.[/nq]
[nq:1]'sardonic' has an element of cruelty or mocking.[/nq]
Not always. "Sardonic laughter" may be in response to "fate" or some other impersonal agent. It suggests bitterness or cynicism that may be directed at another person, but need not be.

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia
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John O'Flaherty:
[nq:2]Obviously I've tried dictionaries but I can't get my head ... to clarify the distinction. Any help greatly appreciated. cheers dd[/nq]
[nq:1]I have a Generation X comic book (the first one, I believe). It came out when I was like 13 ... And I recently reread the comic and STILL couldn't understand it. Is there a major difference between "ironic" and "sardonic"?[/nq]
Based on the other comments I've read, and the dictionary definitions, the difference in the case you are talking about would seem to be that ironic would be dispassionate, and sardonic would be loaded with negative emotion. The word 'snide' would point more toward 'sardonic' than just 'ironic'. Actually more toward 'sarcastic'. In terms of negative emotion, and more focus of same toward the hearer, I'd rank the words 0-4:
ironic, sardonic, sarcastic, snide.
There are other dimensions of difference in the meanings, but I think that is the contrast being drawn by the rich ***.

john
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