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According to Fowler's Modern English Usage, sarcasm is to faults as what intellectual stance is to morals?




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Answer: cynicism

According to Fowler, sarcasm is directed towards people's faults and cynicism towards their morality.

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What about ridicule? Sarcasm would seem to involve the verbal expression of feelings as would ridicule. Cynicism can easily be expressed through a leer, and doesn't need a verbal expression.
jdoody_rochester.rr.com
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Don't agree! Cynicism can be directed toward morality as well as amorality and sarcasm can be directed toward people's faults as well as their strengths. It seems moot to me.
ellenberns_aol.com
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What edition of fowler? like a lot of his stuff, what was correct 50 years ago sounds dated and pedantic now. personally, I love the distinction, and think it useful
david.lennard_kingsgroup.org
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Sarcasm may equally be directed toward a person's virtues; cynicism may equally be directed toward a person's lack of morality.
black_newways.org
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No, the parallel is improper - faults are by definition undesirable, whereas morality is neutral. Change "morality" to "immorality" and you have a more plausible and tougher issue . . .
mdk_math.princeton.edu
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I can see Fowler's point, although I don't believe it is a necessary one. I think I can be cynical about faults and sarcastic about morality just as easily as the other way around.
james.t.wood_att.net
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