Ironic, sarcastic (adjs.)

Ironic 和 sarcastic 這兩個形容詞均有「諷刺的」意思,但兩者的含意並不相同,使用時不可不慎。譬如說,在 The teacher’s sarcastic comment about Cindy’s essay made her cry. (老師對辛蒂作文的嘲諷評論使她哭了起來) 這句中,sarcastic 不能用 ironic 來代替,因為 sarcastic 表示苟刻傷人的嘲諷。

Ironic 意為「諷刺的,具有諷刺意味的」,表示用反話來表達與其字面意思相異或相反的反諷,指比較無傷大雅,比較幽默、揶揄的諷刺,如 John had a habit of making ironic remarks. (約翰有說帶諷刺意味的話的習慣);It was ironic that Gary was run over by his own car. (蓋瑞竟被自己的車子輾過,真是諷刺);She has written several ironic novels. (她已寫了數本諷刺小說);She met his eyes with an ironic little smile. (她對他報以揶揄的淺笑)。

Sarcastic 意為「嘲諷的,嘲笑的,挖苦的」,是個貶義詞,所含的諷刺大多是苛刻傷人的,著重於挖苦、嘲笑、嘲諷,如 Linda talked with her husband with sarcastic tones. (琳達用挖苦的口吻和她先生說話);Richard is a sarcastic teacher. (理查是個愛挖苦學生的老師);My mother-in-law is sometimes very sarcastic. (我岳母有時非常尖酸苟刻);I can’t stand her sarcastic remarks any longer. (我無法再忍受她的冷言冷語了)。

另外,還要注意的是,ironic 亦可拼成 ironical,但 sarcastic 則沒有 sarcastical 的拼法。不夠,它們的副詞皆是在 -cal 之後加 -ly,分別變成 ironically 和 sarcastically。

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