Questions tagged [irony]

for questions about irony and ironic statements.

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8 votes
5 answers

What exactly is "verbal irony"

My daughter has been given the task - by me - of explaining irony. She identified and did a jolly good job of explaining 5 of the 6 apparent types of irony: dramatic, cosmic, socratic, situational, ...
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18 votes
8 answers

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. ...
  • 283
2 votes
3 answers

Example of Irony

Recently I had a test in college that asks us to give an example of irony. I wrote this word by word: An astronaut had over 200 missions into space over two decades. Ironically, two days after he ...
  • 123
15 votes
7 answers

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 ...
  • 1,224
5 votes
2 answers

Etymology of "Utopia"; counterintuitive

How did the word "Utopia" (coined by Sir Thomas More) come to mean an ideal place when the Greek etymology specifically means "Not a place." Relatedly, while this might be the prime use of the word "...
  • 95
4 votes
3 answers

Is this an example of irony?

It's ironical that Linux, the most secure OS, is commonly used to hack other machines. Is that sentence correct, with respect to the irony part?
4 votes
3 answers

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, ...
  • 363
2 votes
3 answers

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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