I read a Facebook post a few weeks ago wherein a angry writer told her fellow writers three things that she hated in books -- mistakes she thought others were making. Included in the mini-rant was the warning that banter and sarcasm were not humor...
Since when are banter and sarcasm not humor? They are.
Now...in fairness to the author of the rant...Done POORLY they aren't funny. LOL
In fact, banter and/or sarcasm that go on too long definitely aren't funny. My rule of thumb for "funniness" is to find the funniest chunk in a piece of banter and use only that.
But that's not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to warn you, as writers, as readers, as contest judges and people who write reviews...be fair. But also be careful. :) You don't want to be the one who comes out looking bad for making a statement that's off the mark. You can't make a broad and general statement "banter isn't humor" that will turn some poor unsuspecting newbee writing soul into a crazy person trying to get rid of her banter, when the real bottom line was that the writing you'd judged wasn't good.
Also remember your own personal prejudices. I'm not a fan of sarcasm because I live in a house of men who do nothing but make sarcastic comments. So when I judge a piece of work that's laced with sarcasm, I keep in mind that what annoys me might be hysterically funny to others. :)
Still, as I read the mini-rant I understood exactly where the author was coming from. Humor is very hard to write and what's funny to one person may not be funny to another. Still if we want to draw a truth from her post...I think it would be the kiss rule. Keep it simple, sweetie. Keep it short, sunshine.