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Questions tagged [irony]

for questions about irony and ironic statements.

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Use of "ironically" or "unironically" in indicating surprise

Take the following comment: "Married like a couple of hunters bound together" is the ironically cutest description of marriage I've ever heard Which spawned a discussion on whether ...
John Thomas's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
42 views

Does "for all the" mean a contrast or a cause and effect or a irony?

Does "for all the" mean a contrast or a cause and effect? "For all the work he put in, the project was sure a disaster. " Does this mean because of all the work he put in, the ...
jkj's user avatar
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112 views

Can I use "small" and "little" together to express irony and contempt?

I know the difference between small and little. I see that they are not so commonly used together, in any case less commonly than tiny little, as this Ngram shows. Here is one example that does not ...
fev's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
78 views

Is "that's what you get" likely to be used sarcastically/to rub something in?

Take this phrase: "That's what you get." The wording implies that it could be used both positively and negatively, à la 'what goes around comes around.' That is, if I do something good, I '...
Maslow's user avatar
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1 answer
113 views

Is it irony? What's the word?

What is the word for doing something where said thing is a protest against what you are doing? Example, posting a facebook status that pokes fun at people copying and pasting statuses and sharing them ...
Amanda Marie's user avatar
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1 answer
119 views

Is "Earth is full! Go Home!" an example of sarcasm? If so, why?

Is "Earth is full! Go Home!" an example of sarcasm? If it is, I'd really like someone to explain why this is sarcastic. From all the definitions I've seen for sarcasm, I've gathered that ...
Donna's user avatar
  • 19
5 votes
2 answers
293 views

What is the term for using a famous person's name to describe another person? [duplicate]

Names of exceptional people are sometimes used colloquially to describe other people. The most prominent example is referring to someone ironically as "Einstein" or "an Einstein," ...
Paris Geis's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

When did calling someone "Einstein" ironically become common?

In “The Children” (1937) by Howard Fast, a mentally-handicapped youngster is ironically referred to as “Thomas Edison” as Edison probably was, in the USA, the best-known "smart guy". Today, ...
releseabe's user avatar
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1 answer
39k views

Can I ask a question like "Could you please kindly confirm for me ... ?" in a formal email?

After checking the dictionary, I noticed that the usage of "Kindly" in request sentences often expresses a sence of ironic. So I am afraid that my expression might lead to misunderstanding.
Yuanxiang Ma's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

How to say "you added a clause in end of statment"? [closed]

How do you call the act of adding a clasue to the end of a statment, which weakens it and makes it sort-of conditional? Examples: "Nice to see you, this time!" "I love it, in a way, &...
user1611107's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Difference between "ironic" and "facetiously"?

What is the difference between those adjectives? I've understood that facetiously is used when you're saying something that you don't mean- you're joking, but what differentiates it from (humorous) ...
pipita's user avatar
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What is it called when you build up a statement as something positive, and then make into something negative? [duplicate]

Is there a specific word for when the beginning of a statement is positive, and then you you turn it into a mockery or ridicule? Examples: "I really do love Rick, he is my favorite comedian, ...
emeliec's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Sarcasm without contradiction between literal and appeared meaning

What exactly is the definition of sarcasm? As I’ve understood it, verbal irony is when the literal meaning of a sentence differs from the appeared meaning (it is opposite/close to opposite). If the ...
emeliec's user avatar
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1 answer
100 views

What does "dedicate shrines" mean?

The sentence: They are experiencing 40% inflation, so if they get to 20% inflation (that is still high) they would dedicate shrines. I searched it a lot but didn't get an answer that makes sense!
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1 answer
203 views

‘Thank you’ has an exceptionally special place among ‘good’ words used as irony?

A. A. Milne, best known for his books about Winnie-the-Pooh, is much less noted as a prolific playwright of about forty plays. They are carefully crafted works that continue to entertain and delight ...
samhana's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
899 views

What is a word that describes when you try to fix something bad but destroy something good in the process?

I am watching a video of a person releasing a mouse from a plastic trap into the "wild," but it was actually released in an open field. The freed mouse gets across the field and then a large ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
282 views

Is it "ironic" is someone proclaims to be the opposite or what they are? [closed]

I've heard it referred-to several times as "ironic" but is there a more appropriate term for when a group of people accuse another group of being what they themselves are. (eg. people with ...
Tez's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
406 views

Word for stating something as fact when narrator and audience knows it is untrue?

I am looking for a literary term that is similar to irony. Basically, the narrator say something in an almost sarcastic way by stating something that everyone knows is untrue. The quote I am going off ...
Julia Washburn's user avatar
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0 answers
65 views

Can 'Alas' be used ironically in the following statement

Alas! Torm makes a polar voyage to explore the arctic Canada. Alas! Torm indeed makes the Voyage across Arctic Canada exploring the unexplored, and how does she do it? In style. Always in style!! -...
Rahamat ALi's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
220 views

What's the term for speech that *unintentionally* conveys the opposite of its literal meaning?

A small child is lost in a dark forest at night. He hears a wolf howl and says out loud, "I'm not afraid." The key here is that the true meaning is unintentionally conveyed. The child is ...
Peter Mullaney's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Best word for blunt, honest humor where you say something shocking to get a laugh?

What's the best word for the type of humor where you state something very honestly and bluntly with the intent to be a little shocking and a little humorous? Potentially because people don't expect a ...
Elizabeth's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
107 views

Possessive noun and sarcasm quotes

I use sarcasm quotes like so: Let's ask the "expert". But with a possessive noun, is the following the correct way, or isn't there one? Let's ask for the "expert's" advice.
rybo111's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
278 views

Is this ironic? and if not what is it called? [duplicate]

Someone is so fat they cant bend down to pick up a bag of food that lies at their feet and then as a result end up dying of starvation
Tyler C's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
312 views

Fake sympathy for a past event

What do you call it when you profess inauthentic sympathy for past behavior when that behavior has directly benefited you? Hypothetical Example: my family members from 175 years ago burned down some ...
yp1991's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Investigators unknowingly destroy evidence – coincidence or irony?

In my English class we're reading the book Lamb to the Slaughter. The class is required to make five annotations about events in the book; I want to label an event as ironic, but I'm stuck as to ...
Jay S.'s user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
682 views

Is this the right definition of literal?

I just asked whether dictionaries (specifically the OED) might, for one lemma, state several different definitions which are literal. And there seems to be some confusion about my use of 'literal' ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Irony and lack of self-awareness

They are not the same, are they? For example, if a person says: "I can't stand those f----ng people because they are so foul-mouthed!", I don't view the statement as ironic. But some highly-educated ...
user173015's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
347 views

When the response is as stupid as the question [duplicate]

What do I say when someone asks a stupid question, then I give them a stupid answer, after that they complain "your answer sounds as if you're talking down to me". How do I convey that "my answer is ...
shal's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
79 views

Are these examples of irony? [duplicate]

My understanding of (situational) irony is that it involves a certain expectation for the outcome of a situation but the reality ends up being opposite to that. I'm not sure if there has to some ...
user1936752's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
247 views

What's the meaning of "you should worry"? [duplicate]

According to Cambridge Dictionary, they should worry! (humorous) ​ said about or to someone who clearly has no need to worry: She should worry! She hasn't a problem in the world. How come? Is it ...
A playgoer's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
12k views

If it's not ironic, what is it?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the word ironic. A good example is Alanis Morissette's "Ironic". I looked at three articles discussing it, and one said that the song was ironic because the ...
Joel's user avatar
  • 29
6 votes
3 answers
896 views

Word for a phrase that by ambiguity could be accidentally self-deprecating

There is a literary technique in comedies where a person says something intending for it to be reassuring and confident, but their words are humorous because when interpreted differently, the phrase ...
Brrrrrrr's user avatar
  • 453
3 votes
1 answer
810 views

Is this phrase an example of irony?

The dictionary defines irony as "the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning." I also understand that irony is a form of humor. This phrase ...
Brrrrrrr's user avatar
  • 453
1 vote
1 answer
302 views

Why does the definition of Irony have conditions outside the dictionary definition? [closed]

I've often been confused by the definition of irony, since it seems to me that more than most words, people like to argue and correct people as to whether something actually does constitute irony or ...
Richard Miles's user avatar
73 votes
6 answers
11k views

Has 'fat chance' always been used sarcastically or was it once a factual term?

That 'fat chance' means 'a small chance' (and is always used sarcastically) is clear to me. But what I was wondering about is if the term used to be factual and then changed meaning because it started ...
gctwnl's user avatar
  • 781
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Ironic "Something-ism"

A couple weeks ago I was watching an episode of Forensic Files on Netflix, when a specific grammatical technique (I honestly don't know what else to call it) was mentioned. The name fails me, but I ...
DanteTheEgregore's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
3k views

In the poem GREEN BERET by HO THIEN, is this line considered as using irony? [closed]

In the poem Green Beret by Ho Thien, there are the lines: in that same instant, protected by frail tears far stronger than any wall of steel Is irony being used in the above lines?
user188059's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is this correct usage of the word irony?

Comment on Reddit Today I learned that TIL Mark David Chapman planned to kill David Bowie and had a front row seat (along with John & Yoko) for Bowie's Broadway show the day after killing John ...
brazen's user avatar
  • 23
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Irony in "Every dog should own a man" by Corey Ford [closed]

In the text "Every dog should own a man" (http://thevizslaksentinel.com/index.asp?ID=249), the roles of the dog and the man are reversed; as in this sentence: There is nothing like a well-behaved ...
city7lights's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Ironic phrase for something becoming more complicated specifically because of efforts to 'simplify' it?

My linguistic skills fail me and I'd like some advice. I have a project that currently works exactly as intended, short and sweet, yet a higher up has changed their mind and are asking for it to be ...
Cactus's user avatar
  • 73
2 votes
0 answers
211 views

Connotation of a sentence in a listening material from TPO

(Here for the original audio source (MP3 file). The part in question begins approximately at 2'18'') This conversation is an excerpt from one listening material in a TPO (TOEFL Practice Online) test, ...
Vim's user avatar
  • 1,030
2 votes
1 answer
961 views

Can dramatic irony function retrospectively?

Please do not read the following if you have never read Oedipus or are unfamiliar with the plot of the play, in case it spoils the reading for you: In Sophocles' play Oedipus the King, the dramatic ...
Aleksandr Hovhannisyan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
401 views

does apropos have contradictory meanings? [closed]

Definitions: 1) with reference to; concerning. 2) very appropriate to a particular situation. 3) used to state a speaker's belief that someone's comments or acts are unrelated to any previous ...
user3256725's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
830 views

What figure of speech is this

Ageing is affected by the passage of time. To cure ageing - stop time! I don't think this is irony, sarcasm or paradoxical but I'm sure there's a word to describe the "stop time" element. What is ...
Martingo's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it irony when you answer a question as though you've misunderstood it?

For example, your friend asks whether you've repaired the lawn mower. You respond as though your friend were referring to a hired hand who mows your lawn, saying something silly like, "He seems ...
SaganRitual's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
918 views

Is irony used correctly in the following sentence?

I came across this sentence: The most interesting job paid the least, in keeping with the laws of irony. Someone please explain how is this ironic?
Curious's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Is there a way to contrast the words small/little and big to describe someone/something?

folks! How are you? :) Well, here's my question: Is there a way to contrast the words small/little and big to describe the same person/thing? I found a thread in which I think the question was not ...
razmth's user avatar
  • 91
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Grammar matters - explanation of example

I just stumbled over this from http://braythwayt.com/2015/05/04/grammar-matters.html : "I'd like to thank the employees of FormerCo, who made me feel that my contribution mattered." "...
wirrbel's user avatar
  • 216
4 votes
1 answer
84 views

Is it ironic to write on a dry-erase board with a permanent marker?

There is a dry-erase board. It has a shopping list on it. At the bottom of the shopping list, I added "Dry-erase Markers". But I did this in permanent marker, because we were all out of dry-erase ...
Evorlor's user avatar
  • 915
0 votes
2 answers
13k views

What is a term for having a "small" name for something that's actually "large"?

For example, referring to a 7 feet tall, 450 lb man with the nickname "Tiny".
David's user avatar
  • 1