Friday, January 10, 2003

Sarcasm has its limits

A recent study confirms what I have long suspected to be true about my daughter, and that is: Kids don't get sarcasm. The Canadian researchers found that until age 10 or so, children find no humor in sarcastic comments; the young ones take the comments at face value, the older ones recognize the insincerity of the remark but just think it's mean. Which fits with my observations of my girl, who although 12 chronologically is 10 or under linguistically. My husband, for whom sarcasm is often the conversational mode of choice when dealing with uncooperative kids, has always been annoyed when our daughter disregards the clearly intoned intent of his comments, and more annoyed when I point out that she might not realize he wasn't saying what he meant. Now -- joy! -- I have Canadian researchers to back me up. Yep, that'll sure settle the argument.

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