The question is difficult to mention in a single line as a title, hence feel free to edit the title.

Person-1: Did Brazil win the football match today?
Person-2: People are dying across the world, economies are going down, Earth is burning and you are asking about a match?

Here "Person-1" is asking a good and valid question which interests him/her. However "Person-2" doesn't think that such questions are important when there are other major questions yet to be solved.

What is the term used for such sarcasm?

  • 4
    The response is dismissive, but not really sarcastic. Sarcasm usually involves a statement that appears to convey one thing literally, but because of tone, inflection or subtle phrasing, actually expresses a contrary view. *People are dying across the world, economies are going down, Earth is burning but I'd rather talk about the match. That would be sarcastic. – bib Mar 15 '16 at 13:52
  • Person 2 is engaging in hyperbole, spurred on by incredulity at Person 1's callous lack of interest in the larger world. But that sure isn't a single-word-answer. – BenL Mar 15 '16 at 16:25

The response is belittling.


make (someone or something) seem unimportant.

and disparaging

regard or represent as being of little worth.

there's also denigrating

criticize unfairly; disparage.

Ngrams: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=disparage%2C+denigrate%2C+belittle&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cdisparage%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdenigrate%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cbelittle%3B%2Cc0


This type of argument can be referred to as the "fallacy of relative privation", the "not as bad as" argument, or "appeal to worse problems". It was mentioned in the philosophy stackexchange.

But all of these are technical terms unfamiliar to most people. And I'm not aware of any single-word term for this. Is there one in other languages?

  • 2
    In many contexts, parochialism can be used to mean concerned with matters of personal/local interest, ignoring the broader perspective. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '16 at 14:41
  • Any particular reason you didn't post that as an answer, @FumbleFingers? – John Clifford Mar 15 '16 at 14:43
  • @John: Well, OP seems to be asking for a term to describe Person-2's response. I suppose he might have replied Your interests are so parochial!, but the reply itself isn't "parochial". To my mind, bib is on the right track with dismissive, but I don't know if there's a word implying dismissive of parochial concerns. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '16 at 14:55
  • 1
    "Parochial" doesn't quite fit here, it describes a focus on issues of interest only to a people living in one particular geographic area, while usually ignoring broader global issues. Of course those local issues might be of considerable significance to people of that area; on the other hand, a trivial issue could be of worldwide interest yet not at all important. Your local school board elections are a parochial issue; Kim Kardashian is global but trivial. A match between Brazil's national football team and another country will usually have some worldwide interest. – ghostarbeiter Mar 15 '16 at 15:06


mockery – noun

  1. Teasing and contemptuous language or behavior directed at a particular person or thing:
    ‘Stung by her mockery, Frankie hung his head.’


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