did oscar wilde say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the highest form of intelligence?
and if not oscar wilde, who did say this?
- bjk1961Lv 710 years agoFavourite answer
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Skip to contentHomeAboutAsk TWGIPALearnResourcesTweetionaryWords Archive ← Intermission: How To Organize Your Bookseldritch /’ɛldɹɪtʃ/ →September 20, 2009 · 10:58 pm ↓ Jump to Commentssarcasm /’sɑ:kæzəm/
Many years ago, I spent the princely sum of one pound and fifty pence for a copy of The Lowest Form Of Wit by Leonard Rossiter. Rossiter, who died in 1984, was best known in the UK for his comedic roles as the landlord Rigsby in the series Rising Damp, and Reginald Perrin in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. In both of these classics, he was not averse to the use of sarcasm, and his 1981 book was a paen to what has been called “the lowest form of wit.”
The phrase, “the lowest form of wit” is oft used, but its origin is obscure. The Internet, being the Mother of All Lies, ascribes it to Oscar Wilde, who was a master of sarcasm himself and certainly a worthy owner of the phrase. Alas, no Wilde scholar has been able to point to its existence in any of his works. Some folks say that it is actually a corruption of “sarcasm is the lowest form of humor but the highest form of wit,” a phrase that is similarly cited as being from Wilde, yet just as impossible to demonstrate!
And it doesn’t stop there. Michael DeJong, in an article for The Huffington Post, wrote a piece on “Sarcasm Month” and supplied a new misquote where he says, “as Oscar Wilde stated, Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence.’” Sorry Michael, it appears he didn’t say that either!
- jad62Lv 610 years ago
Sounds like him; I'd do a search on "sarcasm" to see what I'd find to verify instead of assuming some stranger knows what you don't by using the same internet.