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what's the mean irony? [Copy link] 中文

sallyzhang has been deleted
Post time 2003-12-11 19:09:43 |Display all floors
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Post time 2003-12-11 20:55:18 |Display all floors


"Witty language used to convey insults or scorn"
"The use of words to mean something very different from what they appear on the surface to mean"

Some people are good at saying things in such a way that when you first hear the words they mean one thing, but if you think about them for a second you realise that they are actually criticising or even insulting you.

Sarcasm, satire and irony have similar meanings.

Another definition is
"A sort of humor, ridicule, or light sarcasm, which uses a way of speaking the words (perhaps just in the tone of voice) to make the meaning different to the literal meaning"

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sallyzhang has been deleted
Post time 2003-12-15 18:57:16 |Display all floors

thank you

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Post time 2003-12-15 18:59:05 |Display all floors

There are at least three kinds of irony.

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

1 : a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning -- called also Socratic irony

2 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

3 a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity b : incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play -- called also dramatic irony, tragic irony

So, to answer your question, a "sense of irony" is the ability to use and understand this kind of device.

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Post time 2003-12-18 09:13:45 |Display all floors

and lots of words to look up to understand them

I just love definitions which are twice as complex as the original word.

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Post time 2003-12-19 00:46:10 |Display all floors


Yes that is a complicated explanation - but then again irony is one of the most misunderstood and misused words in English.

Remember Alanis Morriset had a song "Isn't It Ironic?" - the irony was that NONE of the things she mentioned in the song were ironic at all! A classic case of misunderstanding the word. Some lines from the song:

"It's like rain on your wedding day" - that's not ironic. It _would_ be ironic if you were a weather forecaster getting married to a meteorologist and you'd picked the day together....

"It's like a free ride when you're already late."  - that's not ironic. It _would_ be ironic if you had been taking a seminar on traffic problems in the city and your talk had gone late and you were then taking the other delegates on a drive around the city to show them the problem firsthand....

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