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I'm writing a scene in which a character says, "The cook must have made a mistake," as a sarcastic remark about the quality of the food that was served. Is there another, shorter, way to get across the same sarcasm, preferably with one word?

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closed as too localized by Matt E. Эллен, FumbleFingers, Kit Z. Fox, Robusto, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Mar 2 '12 at 14:11

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I don’t really think your sentence is sarcastic as is… – F'x Mar 2 '12 at 11:03
Why not? Seems sufficiently sarcastic to me! – user16269 Mar 2 '12 at 11:05
Do you need to reformulate the phrase or just express sarcasm? If you want something that's humoristic you could have the character say something like, "Exquisitely undelicious". – James Poulson Mar 2 '12 at 11:12
Maybe we should migrate this question to writers.stackexchange.com? – Pitarou Mar 2 '12 at 11:23
The sarcastic way to put it would be "My compliments to the chef (!)". But there are so many possiblilities that this is off-topic here, unless you can cut it down. Maybe writers.se? – TimLymington Mar 2 '12 at 12:45

You might try: "Oh, the cook made this?" as though the speaker is surprised the food wasn't prepared by, say, someone on the wait staff. The implication would be, "no cook worth his salt would have been content to serve this."

(Maybe you didn't need that implication clarified, but I couldn't resist the temptation to apply the "worth one's salt" idiom to a chef; the pun was simply too delicious).

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Your question seems so odd that I wonder whether I really understand what you’re asking for, but it’s certainly possible to squeeze the same meaning into fewer words:

The cook surely erred.

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Though not 100% sure what you exactly want, I'd like to give it a try. Note that irony, which can be made directly or indirectly, is the main feature of sarcasm. I would then suggest any of the following three.

  1. Didn't the cook taste it?
  2. The cook'd eat it all!
  3. The cook must love it!

If obscenity made more sense in the scene you are writing, then why not "The cook's just f**king great!"?

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