a wry sense of humor

Discussion in 'English Only' started by prpeggy, May 25, 2008.

  1. prpeggy Senior Member

    What is a wry sense of humor? Does that mean being humourous in an ironic way? Does the expression have a negative connotation?
  2. DamaYasmin

    DamaYasmin Junior Member

    Colonia Austin Gardens
    Mexico Spanish
    It's kind of "ironic" which would be a negative connotation :)
  3. greenie Senior Member

    English, USA
    I don't think it is a necessarily negative connotation. It would depend on the context.
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    The online dictionary explains it quite well wry.
  5. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    Wry in reference to humour is not usually taken to be negative, I wouldn't say, unless, perhaps, it is used to excess. Perhaps it depends on what you mean by negative. Wry humour is not to everyone's taste, and if indelicately used, may be hurtful.

    When used about something other than humour, it tends to mean out of shape. A wry (facial) expression probably indicates displeasure.
  6. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    USA English
    Wry humor is closely related to the ironic. It has many attributes including the use of humor to make fun of a culture fixture. Eg., This description of a poker club located in a college town where the college takes an unusual stand on coed sex: The college, in fact, was not opposed to casual sex by rule. The college was dead set, however, against the sin of dancing and card playing. The Poker games at the cellar were penny-ante. The college overlooked that sort of low cost poker so long as it was not played in the dorms. Gussie's Moon, Chapter 7.
  7. Salvage Senior Member

    Columbus, Ohio
    USA English
    From my experience with "wry sense of humor", the negative sense is that wry humor, often being ironic, is open to be misunderstood. I have heard warnings to a new hire, for example, "Watch out for Jim, he has a wry sense of humor."

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