I was watching an episode of the TV series "Monk", and Mr. Monk said to his brother, "No need to be sarcastic", to which the brother replied, "I wasn't being sarcastic, I was being sardonic." Well, I've always used these words as synonyms, so I looked them up on Websters 3rd International. Sarcastic: marked by contempt or disgust. Sardonic: expressive of, or characterized by derision or scorn. I'm thinking that I should see some clear-cut differences between the two words (based on the dialogue in the TV show). I'm not seeing it. It sounds like different ways to express the same thought. Can someone explain what the difference is? I don't do well with subtlety.