Definition of irony. 1 a: the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning. b: a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony. c: an ironic expression or utterance. 2 a (1): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. noun, plural i·ro·nies. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.
Irony can be categorized into different types, including verbal ironydramatic ironyand situational irony. Verbal, dramatic, and situational irony are often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth.
The ironic form of simileused in sarcasmand some forms of litotes can emphasize one's meaning by the deliberate use of language which states the opposite of the truth, denies the contrary of the truth, or drastically and obviously understates a factual connection. Henry Watson Fowlerin The King's Englishsays, "any definition of irony—though hundreds might be given, and very few of them would be accepted—must include this, that the surface meaning and the underlying meaning of what is said are not the same.
The use of irony may require the concept of a double audience. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for incongruous and applied to "every trivial oddity" in situations where there is no double audience. Sullivanwhose real interest was, ironically, serious music, which he composed with varying degrees of success, achieved fame for his comic opera scores rather than for his more earnest efforts.
The American Heritage Dictionary 's secondary meaning for irony : "incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs".
It is often included in definitions of irony not only that incongruity is present but also that the incongruity must reveal some aspect of human vanity or folly. Thus the majority of American Heritage Dictionary' s usage panel found it unacceptable to use the word ironic to describe mere unfortunate coincidences or surprising disappointments that "suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things.
In French, ironie du sort. Douglas C. Muecke identifies three basic features of all irony. First, irony depends on a double-layered or two-story phenomenon for success. Second, the ironist exploits a contradiction, incongruity, or incompatibility between the what does rhythm mean in dance levels. Third, irony plays upon the innocence of a character or victim.
The term irony has its roots in the Greek comic character Eirona clever underdog who by his wit repeatedly triumphs over the boastful character Alazon. The Socratic irony of the Platonic dialogues derives from this comic origin. According to Richard Whately: .
Aristotle mentions Eironeiawhich in his time was commonly employed to signify, not according to the modern use of 'Irony, saying the contrary to what is meant', but, what later writers usually express by Litotesi. The word came into English as a figure of speech in the 16th century as similar to the French ironie. How to sign into squarespace New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics distinguishes between the following types of irony: .
According to A glossary of literary terms by Abrams and Harpham. Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed.
An ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation, but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different, and often opposite, attitude or evaluation. Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers.
For instance, if a man exclaims, "I'm not upset! But if the same speaker said the same words and intended to communicate that he was upset by claiming he was not, the utterance would be verbal irony. This distinction illustrates an important aspect of verbal irony—speakers communicate implied propositions that are intentionally contradictory to the propositions contained in the words themselves. There are, however, examples of verbal irony that do not rely on saying the opposite of what one means, and there are cases where all the traditional criteria of irony exist and the utterance is not ironic.
The literal truth of what's written clashes with the perceived truth of what's meant to revealing effect, which is irony in a nutshell". Ironic similes are a form of verbal irony where a speaker intends to communicate the opposite of what they mean.
For instance, the following explicit similes begin what to do with old rims the deceptive formation of a statement that means A but that eventually conveys the meaning not A :. The irony is recognizable in each case only by using knowledge of the source concepts e.
A fair amount of confusion has surrounded the issue of the relationship between verbal irony and sarcasm. This suggests that the two concepts are linked but may be considered separately. The Oxford English Dictionary 's entry for sarcasm does not mention irony, but the irony entry includes:. A figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used; usually taking the form of sarcasm or ridicule in which laudatory expressions are used to imply condemnation or contempt.
Partridge in Usage and Abusage would separate the two forms of speech completely:. Irony must not be confused with sarcasm, which is direct: sarcasm means precisely what it says, but in a sharp, caustic, The psychologist Martin, in The Psychology of Humouris quite clear that irony is where "the literal meaning is opposite to the intended" and sarcasm is "aggressive humor that pokes fun".
For sarcasm, he cites Winston Churchillwho is supposed to have said, when told by Bessie Braddock that he was drunk, "But I how to install autocad 2010 in windows 7 be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly", as being sarcastic, while not saying the opposite of what is intended.
Psychology researchers Lee and Katz have addressed the issue directly. They found that ridicule is an important aspect of sarcasm, but not of verbal irony in general. By this account, sarcasm is a particular kind of personal criticism levelled against a person or group of persons that incorporates verbal irony. For example, a woman reports to her friend that rather than going to a medical doctor to treat her cancer, she has decided to see a spiritual healer instead.
In response her friend says sarcastically, "Oh, brilliant, what an ingenious idea, that's really going to cure you. Most instances of verbal irony are labeled by research subjects as sarcastic, suggesting that the term sarcasm is more widely used than its technical definition suggests it should be. The differences between these rhetorical devices tropes can be quite subtle and relate to typical emotional reactions of listeners, and the rhetorical goals of the speakers. Regardless of the various ways theorists categorize figurative language types, people in conversation who are attempting to interpret speaker intentions and discourse goals do not generally identify, by name, the kinds of tropes used.
Echoic allusion is the main component involved in conveying verbally ironic meaning. It is best described as a speech act by which the speaker simultaneously represents a thought, belief or idea, and implicitly attributes this idea to someone else who is wrong or deluded.
In this way, the speaker intentionally dissociates themselves from the idea and conveys their tacit dissent, thereby providing a different meaning to their utterance. In some cases, the speaker can provide stronger dissociation from the represented thought by also implying derision toward the idea or outwardly making fun of the person or people they attribute it to.
Echoic allusion, like other forms of verbal irony, relies on semantically disambiguating cues to be interpreted correctly. These cues often come in the form of paralinguistic markers such as prosody, tone, or pitch,  as well as nonverbal cues like hand gesture, facial expression and eye gaze.
From simple semantic analysis, Person 2 appears to believe Person 1. However, if this conversation is given the context of Person 2 walking what time should noise stop at night on Person 1 about to eat some cake, and Person 2 speaking their sentence in a significantly decreased rate of speech and lowered tone, the interpretation of "I just must have been mistaken" changes.
Instead of being taken as Person 2 believing Person 1, the utterance calls to mind someone who would believe Person 1, while also conveying Person 2's implication that said individual would be considered gullible. From this, Person 2 negates the possible interpretation that they believe Person 1.
Dramatic irony exploits the device of giving the spectator an item of information that at least one of the characters in the narrative is unaware of at least consciouslythus placing the spectator a step ahead of at least one of the characters. Connop Thirlwall in his article On the Irony of Sophocles originally what intel desktop board do i have the role of irony in drama.
According to Stanton,  dramatic irony has three stages—installation, exploitation, and resolution often also called preparation, suspension, and resolution —producing dramatic conflict in what one character relies or appears to rely upon, the contrary of which is known by observers especially the audience; sometimes to other characters within the drama to be true.
Tragic irony is a special category of dramatic irony. In tragic irony, the words and actions of the characters contradict the real situation, which the spectators fully realize.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines this as: . Ancient Greek drama was especially characterized by tragic irony because the audiences were so familiar with the legends that most of the plays dramatized. Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex provides a classic example of tragic irony at its fullest. Colebrook writes: . Tragic irony is exemplified in ancient drama The audience watched a drama unfold, already knowing its destined outcome In Sophocles' Oedipus the Kingfor example, 'we' the audience can see what Oedipus is blind to.
The man he murders is his father, but he does not know it. Further, Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for the plague that he has caused, not knowing that the murderer he has cursed and vowed to find is himself.
The audience knows that Oedipus himself is the murderer that he is seeking; Oedipus, Creon, and Jocasta do not. Irony has some of its foundation in the onlooker's perception of paradox that arises from insoluble problems. For example, in the William Shakespeare play Romeo and Julietwhen Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged, deathlike sleep, he assumes her to be dead. The audience knows that Juliet has faked her biko i write what i like pdf, yet Romeo believes she is truly dead, and commits suicide.
Upon awakening to find her dead lover beside her, Juliet stabs herself with a dagger thus killing herself, too. Situational irony is a relatively modern use of the term, and describes a sharp discrepancy between the expected result and actual results in a certain situation. Situational irony The expression cosmic irony or "irony of fate" stems from the notion that the gods or the Fates are amusing themselves by toying with the minds of mortals with deliberate ironic intent. Closely connected with situational irony, it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results.
The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended. There is a strong feeling of a hostile deus ex machina in Hardy's novels. When history is seen through modern eyes, there often appear sharp contrasts between the way historical figures see their world's future and what actually transpires.
For example, during the s The New York Times repeatedly scorned crossword puzzles. Init lamented "the sinful waste in the utterly futile finding of words the letters of which will fit into a prearranged pattern. The craze evidently is dying out fast. In a more tragic example of historical irony, what people now refer to as the " First World War " was called by H.
Historical irony is therefore a subset of cosmic irony, but one in which the element of time is bound to play a role. However, it is an often ignored fact that, inthe US originally supported the Viet Minh in its fight against Japanese occupation. Ideologues within the Bush administration persuaded themselves that American power, adroitly employed, could transform that region The results speak for themselves.
Gunpowder was, according to prevailing academic consensus, discovered in the 9th century by Chinese alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality. Historical irony also includes inventors killed by their own creationssuch as William Bullock — unless, due to the nature of the invention, the risk of death was always known and accepted, as in the case of Otto Lilienthalwho was killed by flying a glider of his own devising.
In certain kinds of situational or historical irony, a factual truth is highlighted by some person's complete ignorance of it or his belief in its opposite.
However, this state of affairs does not occur by human design.
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Irony is a storytelling tool used to create a contrast between how things seem and how they really are beneath the surface. The term comes from the Latin word ironia, which means “feigned ignorance.”. The three main types used in literature are dramatic, situational, and verbal, as mentioned euro-caspian.comted Reading Time: 6 mins. Irony is a literary device in which contradictory statements or situations reveal a reality that is different from what appears to be true. There are many forms of irony featured in literature. The effectiveness of irony as a literary device depends on the reader’s expectations and understanding of the disparity between what “should” happen and what “actually” happens in a literary euro-caspian.comted Reading Time: 8 mins. irony noun [U] (OPPOSITE RESULT) C2. a situation in which something which was intended to have a particular result has the opposite or a very different result: The irony (of it) is that the new tax .
The dark irony is that, when people take to the streets to protest racism in policing, some police have used cutting-edge tools with a known racial bias against those assembled. It may be fun and it may get them paid, until oversaturation ruins our sense for irony and destroys the market for it.
The irony did not escape one local, Laith Hathim, as he stood and watched the newly minted refugees make their way into Mosul. The irony has thinned with the economy, perhaps: Who can really afford just to pretend to DIY today?
Lacking any sense of irony , Eldridge made campaign-finance reform a signature plank. This unreasoning, feminine obstinacy so wrought upon him that he permitted himself a smile and a lapse into irony and banter. Today her irony was concealed, but, like a carefully-covered fire, he knew it was burning still.
Barrington winced a little, for he recognized the irony in the failing voice, but he rose and moved towards the bed.
As you will see, I was unable to end my letter without a touch of impertinent irony , which proved how much in love I still was. Ovid looked a bit doubtful, but Scattergood's voice was so interested, so bland, that any suspicion of irony was allayed. The use of words to mean something very different from what they appear on the surface to mean. New Word List Word List. Save This Word! See synonyms for irony on Thesaurus.
Socratic irony. Set some time apart to test your bracket symbol knowledge, and see if you can keep your parentheses, squares, curlies, and angles all straight! Irony, sarcasm, satire indicate mockery of something or someone. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. Ironic literature exploits, in addition to the rhetorical figure, such devices as character development, situation, and plot to stress the paradoxical nature of reality or the contrast between an ideal and actual condition, set of circumstances, etc.
Irony differs from sarcasm in greater subtlety and wit. In sarcasm ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. Satire usually implies the use of irony or sarcasm for censorious or critical purposes and is often directed at public figures or institutions, conventional behavior, political situations, etc. Words nearby irony ironwoman , ironwood , ironwork , ironworker , ironworks , irony , Iroquoian , Iroquois , Iroquois League , irotomy , IRQ.
Origin of irony 2 Middle English word dating back to —; see origin at iron , -y 1. Is it actually ironic to need a fork when you're surrounded by ten thousand spoons? We propose that "ironic" is among the most misused words in English. These recent marks might not be standardized yet , but they will surely add more flavor and oomph to your writing.
Words related to irony twist , paradox , wit , humor , satire , criticism , repartee , quip , mockery , taunt , banter , ridicule , incongruity , burlesque , jibe , contrariness , raillery , reproach , derision , contempt. Why an Amazon and Airbnb vet joined a digital health company that wants to slash drug prices Sy Mukherjee August 24, Fortune.
Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini. Bella Donna Robert Hichens. Winston of the Prairie Harold Bindloss. Scattergood Baines Clarence Budington Kelland. See dramatic irony. All rights reserved. Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!