I’ve laid claim to writing in clear plain English and saying what I mean but there is an important qualification. I’m British and have a very British sense of humour. Irony is a key weapon in our armoury. We will often say the opposite of what we mean to mock the ideas we are pretending to hold so, when I talk in All Fall Down about the answer to all the killing being more good men with guns, I rely on the reader to understand I mean the exact opposite.
This is very British. If you doubt that check out Quora and the habitual way the British respond to what they regard as stupid questions from Americans about the UK.
Some people have referred to the way I write in comments as ‘sarcastic’. I get quite hurt by that. I think of it as gentle mocking irony while ‘sarcasm’ in my book is something quite different.
I wrote the poem sarcasm to explain what I see as the difference.
You say my work’s sarcastic
But I don’t really like that word.
Sarcasm comes with a caustic bite
It stings, it’s meant to hurt.
I may say the opposite of what I think
But I say it for humorous effect.
It’s gentle, mocking irony
Not really meant to hurt.
It’s a very English humour
The kind that we do best
It’s almost force of habit
A gentle mocking jest.
Please don’t be offended
Or even worse confused
I only hope you get it and
You know it’s not meant to hurt.