Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You Tube Tuesday - Irony

Three times in he last week, I have heard people use the term irony incorrectly.  Please forward to 1:42 on video below for an excellent explanation of how to use this term correctly.

Alanis, I love you but this is a butchering of the English language has to be addressed - you have seemed to corrupted a whole generation who now uses the word incorrectly.  Isn't that ironic, don't you think?



1 [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]  
noun, plural -nies.
1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.
2.Literature .
a. a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
b.(especially in contemporary writing) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

1495–1505;  < Latin īrōnīa  < Greek eirōneía  dissimulation, sarcasm, understatement, equivalent to eírōn  a dissembler + -eia -y3

1, 2. Irony, sarcasm, satire  indicate mockery of something or someone. The essential feature of irony  is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied, as in the comment, “Beautiful weather, isn't it?” made when it is raining or nasty. Ironic literature exploits, in addition to the rhetorical figure, such devices as character development, situation, and plot to stress the paradoxical nature of reality or the contrast between an ideal and actual condition, set of circumstances, etc., frequently in such a way as to stress the absurdity present in the contradiction between substance and form. Irony  differs from sarcasm  in greater subtlety and wit. In sarcasm  ridicule or mockery is used harshly, often crudely and contemptuously, for destructive purposes. It may be used in an indirect manner, and have the form of irony, as in “What a fine musician you turned out to be!” or it may be used in the form of a direct statement, “You couldn't play one piece correctly if you had two assistants.” The distinctive quality of sarcasm  is present in the spoken word and manifested chiefly by vocal inflection, whereas satire  and irony,  arising originally as literary and rhetorical forms, are exhibited in the organization or structuring of either language or literary material. Satire  usually implies the use of irony or sarcasm for censorious or critical purposes and is often directed at public figures or institutions, conventional behavior, political situations, etc.

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