Sarcasm: ‘The use of irony to mock or convey contempt’
Joke: ‘A thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a punchline’
Metaphor: ‘a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.’
Figure of speech: ‘a word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect.’
Unless someone explicitly says to me they are going to tell a joke or they are being sarcastic I don’t get it, honestly I don’t.
Although I enjoy comedy in many forms, whether stand up, panel programmes, sitcoms, romcoms etc, but I know they are meant to be funny, so I can get some of the jokes. A lot I still don’t get and to be honest I have to watch them many times to fully get it all. Often I need jokes explained to me. I often have to also work out a joke in my head, so yes I may have a very delayed laugh to it, I may have a confused look and during a comedy show of some sort I may be behind and therefore why I watch it multiple times to get the jokes, to know what is coming, so my brain isn’t processing the information at the slower speed I process things (I have auditory processing disorder) plus having to work out the jokes, no wonder I am behind everybody else or completely confused.
Do you know what really annoys me, is when people share some sort of joke or sarcastic thing on social media and then say things like ‘don’t explain it to anyone if they ask as it ruins it’. Well often if I don’t ask I have no idea and then often feel left out and by saying that you’re often leaving out people with various disabilities. So please explain, it isn’t ruining anything, it is letting people understand and allowing others in.
Sarcasm if something I severely struggle with, I know a lot of sarcastic people and trying to work them out can be hard. Not that I want anyone to change who they are obviously!
But I just do not get sarcasm, if you say something I’ll believe it, so whether that is sarcastically telling me to do something (I’ll do it) sarcastically talking the piss (I’ll take it seriously and think you’re being mean even if you’re someone I am close to) or make sarcastic comments, I will take it seriously. As I severely struggle with body language, facial expressions and tone of voice, those things cannot help me to work out if someone is being sarcastic. So if you sarcastically tell me to do something and I do it, please don’t laugh at me, or if I take your sarcasm seriously. But people who know me and who are sarcastic don’t stop being sarcastic around me, you just might have to tell me it was sarcasm because I am not going to know.
I am a literal and logical person, so like many autistic people I struggle with metaphors and figures of speech. People in everyday life use figures of speech and I do not get why, I take them literally. Along the way, common ones I have learnt what they mean, but still to me to say ‘it is raining cats and dogs’ instead of saying ‘it is raining a lot’ is so bizarre.
I have a book called ‘The Asperger’s dictionary of everyday expressions’ and it has over 5000 expressions with a key for the level of offence they may cause. It is very useful and I have been able to look up phases people have used on social media in reply to me to understand what they actually mean.
When I first heard the phase ‘it is raining cats and dogs’ I was so confused, because logically I know it can’t rain cats and dogs, but what an earth did it mean. It got explained to me at some point, but still how that phase mean it is raining a lot is so illogical and confusing.
There are times I do use phases which I might have learnt what they mean and have learnt to use them in context, but that is years of learning.
So yes I really don’t get your sarcasm, I will take longer to get your jokes or need them explained, I don’t understand figures of speech. If I say something or ask something I mean it in a logical and serious way. I will often ask what you mean by a comment or for you to explain a joke or something, please do explain it. Please don’t leave me out or leave me guessing and feeling stupid. I am getting better at asking what people mean, rather than just replying with something generic, but comments of refusing to explain can make me not want to ask people. And please when I take your sarcasm seriously and do something, it isn’t funny, because I will feel stupid enough for having done it.
I am literal and logical, I see the world in a literal and logical way. It isn’t a lesser way, just a different way.