FEAR OF JUDGMENT
Commitment in general, and in speech in particular, is like terrifying (you know, not exactly and fully terrifying, but like terrifying). ‘‘I am very excited by these photographs’’ commits the speaker to a position, which we know too well is subject to judgment, itself in turn always on a slippery slope to ridicule. We modulate our judgments for fear of being judged. Best to hedge bets and use speech that amounts to a moving target — irony, sarcasm, mock emoting, superlatives so over the top we can’t be expected to be like totally serious about them.