Questions tagged [irony]

for questions about irony and ironic statements.

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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.
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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, &...
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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) ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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
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‘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 ...
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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 ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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!! -...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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' ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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." "...
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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 ...
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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".
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What literary term is applicable to "awful majesty?" [closed]

What would "awful majesty" be considered? I believe there is a literary term for this kind of contradictory statement – perhaps irony? Or is there another word for it?
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What is the meaning of "ironically" in this passage?

A rocket launched and shortly afterward exploded, on Tuesday. Below is passage from a news article written about it: This was the second launch attempt for the mission. Monday evening's try was ...
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Is there a word analogous to 'shooting yourself in the foot'?

Specifically I'm wondering if there's a word that describes the phenomenon where some party takes some action to remedy a situation and the result of that action makes the original situation worse. ...
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A tool for fixing things also being broken: Irony? Or a better term?

Concrete example: A web site's feedback form for site errors is broken; so I can't use the feedback form to report that the feedback form is broken. Is this Irony or some other English word?
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Is there a proper way of talking about a negative "privilege"?

I'm writing about a video I watched at the moment. I want to ironically describe "having had the privilege of watching it". The video is terrible, hence my writing about it, so I'd like to put ...
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Term for Exaggeration, Used in Argument

Is there a term for the use of exaggeration or hyperbole, when it is used to the opposite effect of demeaning or minimizing? This often occurs in informal disagreements. For example, woman says, You ...
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A cell phone company talking about the dangers of texting — irony or not? [duplicate]

There was a presentation at our school about texting and driving. It was held by AT&T, a cell phone company. Would it be considered ironic that a cell phone company is talking about the dangers of ...
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Does this situation constitute a "Pyrrhic Victory"? Irony?

Consider the following situation: A person, Alice, is hired to do a job for a company, ZooBiz. Alice is able to entirely outsource her job. She pays the outsourcer 50% of what she makes, and no ...