Questions tagged [irony]

for questions about irony and ironic statements.

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3answers
130 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 ...
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2answers
33 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 ...
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25 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 ...
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31 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!! -...
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3answers
52 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 ...
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2answers
202 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 ...
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1answer
70 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.
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1answer
107 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
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2answers
184 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 ...
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1answer
69 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 ...
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3answers
554 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' ...
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1answer
657 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 ...
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5answers
217 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 ...
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75 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 ...
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1answer
202 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 ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
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3answers
672 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 ...
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1answer
626 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 ...
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1answer
244 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 ...
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6answers
10k 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 ...
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2answers
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 ...
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3answers
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?
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1answer
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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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1answer
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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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0answers
165 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, ...
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1answer
696 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 ...
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1answer
298 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 ...
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1answer
704 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 ...
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4answers
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 ...
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3answers
821 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?
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
108 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." "...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
7k 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".
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3answers
1k views

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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1answer
2k views

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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8answers
12k views

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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1answer
80 views

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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4k views

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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4answers
2k views

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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4answers
2k views

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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5answers
217 views

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 ...
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0answers
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Irony - Alanis Morisette Song [duplicate]

This is old news ...but I am having trouble understanding why some of Alanis Morisette's examples from her song 'Ironic' are not ironic. For example: "An old man turned ninety-eight. He won the ...
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2answers
327 views

“Truth, Justice AND the American Way”?

Folk-blues artist Richie Havens, in his 1972 album "Live at the Cellar Door," made a comment about the Superman introduction which said that the Man of Steel fought for "Truth, Justice and the ...
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104 views

Is phrase “wheeled his way somewhere” neutral?

To put the things into perspective, I am no native speaker. I've learnt English in a variety of places, school being one of them. My English tutor presented a phrase to descibe a movement of a ...
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2answers
19k views

Ironic question “Do you now?”

From time to time I encounter the sentence "Oh, do you now?" which I suppose expresses some kind of irony. Is the question grammatically correct? The question was asked also here: http://forum....
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3answers
19k views

Is this a paradox, oxymoron, or irony?

The sentence is Laughter was his way of expressing his alarm and despair. I know this is the definition of an oxymoron: a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in ...
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8answers
758 views

Convoluted Synonym for “Convoluted”

Does anyone know of a complicated, preferably large word that is synonymous with convoluted?
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170 views

Usage of 'bovinely' when fastness or slowness are involved

I know that in English 'I tried to go as slow as possible' and 'I tried to go as fast as possible' have a very different meaning, but I'm unsure how 'bovinely', before 'possible', change that ...