Author Topic: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*  (Read 9398 times)

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kitchcat

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Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*
« on: January 07, 2013, 05:45:27 PM »
The thread about the Star Wars joke-maker made me think of this other awkward joke-related situation. This happened to me recently and I've also seen it on various TV shows as well as to other people in real life.

What happens when someone (who I'll just call  the Outsider) who is not "in" on an inside joke among a group of people, keeps (awkwardly) trying to use the inside joke as if they're part of it?

Example: Sue and Sally have an inside joke between them related to a specific incident where Sue accidentally drank hot sauce instead of water and naturally reacted with shock. Now, when something happens that's really surprising, they'll say, "That's spicy!" Mary was not present for the incident and isn't even close with Sue. However, after hearing Sue and Sally say "That's spicy" several times casually, she asks what it means. Sally responds, "Oh, it's just an old inside joke that means it's shocking." Now, Mary is saying "That's spicy!" whenever she's with Sue or Sally, even though she doesn't even know *why* "That's spicy" = shocking.

This has happened to me a few times and it kinda rubs me the wrong way, probably because the Outsider seems kinda of...pushy? I guess like they're inserting themselves in an inappropriate way?

Does this bother anyone else? Would you address it or ignore it?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 06:52:24 PM by kitchcat »
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onyonryngs

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 05:47:52 PM »
She's trying to fit in.  It's a bit awkward, but it's not hurting anyone.  Is there a reason the joke can't be explained to her? 

diesel_darlin

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 05:53:37 PM »
That's the reason I dislike "inside" jokes. Yes they are funny, but they often lead to situations like this.

If it's something that someone doesn't want outsiders to know, it's best not to use the catchphrase associated with the joke around someone that you will have to explain the joke to.

CluelessBride

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 05:56:15 PM »
I could imagine a situation where butting in on an inside joke would seem off, but this isn't really one of them for me.

Sue and Sally have introduced a new word into their vocabulary. They use it in front of Mary. Now Mary picks up on the word and starts to use it. Maybe it spreads, maybe it doesn't, but I think that's part of the evolution of language.

If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

DottyG

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 06:04:49 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.


LazyDaisy

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 06:22:29 PM »
I agree too. If it bothers someone that an inside joke may be picked up by an "outsider" it is up to the "insiders" to not bring it up in front of them. I think it's similar to talking about a party that someone else isn't invited to but would have a reasonable expectation for one.

For a polite response after the fact, how about privately telling Mary that the phrase has special significance for Sue and Sally and it's not just a silly new catch phrase. I think when people hear the word "joke" the general assumption tends to be that jokes are for sharing in and the more the merrier.
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Iris

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 06:36:22 PM »
I could imagine a situation where butting in on an inside joke would seem off, but this isn't really one of them for me.

Sue and Sally have introduced a new word into their vocabulary. They use it in front of Mary. Now Mary picks up on the word and starts to use it. Maybe it spreads, maybe it doesn't, but I think that's part of the evolution of language.

If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

This. If Sue and Sally don't want other people to pick up on their saying, they shouldn't use it in front of others. Having a 'special secret phrase just for us' seems very middle school.
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sweetonsno

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 06:38:01 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.

Amen.

This also reminded me a bit about the recent post about PDAs. While an inside joke (or physical affection) can be a great way to bond, it's impolite to do so in a way that excludes or alienates other people.

I also agree with LazyDaisy. If you want a joke to be kept private (or unique to a particular relationship), then don't pull it out in front of others.

WillyNilly

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 06:40:01 PM »
I could imagine a situation where butting in on an inside joke would seem off, but this isn't really one of them for me.

Sue and Sally have introduced a new word into their vocabulary. They use it in front of Mary. Now Mary picks up on the word and starts to use it. Maybe it spreads, maybe it doesn't, but I think that's part of the evolution of language.

If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

Either Sue and Sally were using this expression in front of Mary to invite her in (and so should now be happy its caught on) or they were doing an exclusionary and clique-ish thing in front of those not invited (and therefore deserve to be annoyed and maybe learn the lesson being mean never pays off). Really there's no place in the scenario for people to think Mary is in the wrong.

jpcher

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 06:41:19 PM »
I agree too. If it bothers someone that an inside joke may be picked up by an "outsider" it is up to the "insiders" to not bring it up in front of them. I think it's similar to talking about a party that someone else isn't invited to but would have a reasonable expectation for one.

For a polite response after the fact, how about privately telling Mary that the phrase has special significance for Sue and Sally and it's not just a silly new catch phrase. I think when people hear the word "joke" the general assumption tends to be that jokes are for sharing in and the more the merrier.

I read this thread earlier and couldn't figure out what bothered me about Sue and Sally . . . LazyDaisy said my thoughts very nicely.

I picture Sue and Sally saying the phrase and giggling amongst themselves . . . kinda like a secret code. Which would be very rude for them to do.



(3 posts while I'm typing -- I'm agreeing with all.)

SleepyKitty

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 06:42:01 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.

I can completely see this point of view, but I don't think it's always the case. For me, an inside joke isn't intended to keep someone out, it's intended to reinforce bonds/intimacy between people who know each other very well. I don't see anything wrong with that, provided that it's not happening constantly. I think it would rub me the wrong way because it's okay that two people have something not everyone is involved in, and I think that it shouldn't have to be avoided or hidden. I don't have to be a part of every inside joke and it seems to display insecurity or a need to be more intimate than perhaps the relationship actually is for Mary to "take over" the joke. If Mary was a close friend, she'd have her own inside jokes with the group. If she's not, then trying to force her way into an already established one is a little odd.

This is resting on the assumption that the in-jokes are not happening constantly and they're not so obscure as to leave Mary out of the conversation altogether. There is definitely a time and place for these kinds of things, and the inside-jokers ought to be aware of it. But I think people who are relative newcomers to a group of friends ought to be able to understand that things happened before they were there, and those things will sometimes be referenced in a joke, and not be either upset by that or try and usurp it.

Scuba_Dog

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 06:42:56 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.

This is where I land on the issue. 

I've never been a fan of using inside jokes around anyone except those who understand them.
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sourwolf

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 06:46:36 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.

So no one is ever allowed to have a shared experience with a friend that becomes part of their short hand? That seems very petty.  Not every person is going to have the same relationship and most people aren't so insecure that they feel like they HAVE to be a part of every.single.thing. 

I also don't understand how Sue and Sally are "rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face" when they were happy to explain what they were talking about.

Scuba_Dog

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 06:56:29 PM »
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If anything, Sue and Sally are being a little clique-ish by rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face.

That's what I've been wanting to say but wasn't sure how to put it.  I agree.

So no one is ever allowed to have a shared experience with a friend that becomes part of their short hand? That seems very petty.  Not every person is going to have the same relationship and most people aren't so insecure that they feel like they HAVE to be a part of every.single.thing. 

I also don't understand how Sue and Sally are "rubbing their inside joke in Mary's face" when they were happy to explain what they were talking about.

Who said that in what you quoted?  Such exaggeration isn't helpful.
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Yvaine

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 06:57:09 PM »
This is probably how most of the world's slang got started. I don't think it's inherently mean to use it in front of other people--especially since patterns of speech can become sort of autopilot--but if they use it in front of other people, other people may catch on and use it. Not necessarily to be annoying but just because they like it. I mean, even if you don't know the hot sauce story, I think everyone has experienced eating something that's way spicier than we expected, and it does make a good metaphor for surprising. (Assuming that's not a hypothetical, but it could apply to other examples too.)