Jump to navigation Jump opposite of the business end search «Ironic» redirects here. A stop sign ironically defaced with a plea not to deface stop signs. Irony can be categorized into different types, including: verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony.
Verbal, dramatic, and situational irony are often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth. Henry Watson Fowler, in The King’s English, says, «any definition of irony—though hundreds might be given, and very few of them would be accepted—must include this, that the surface meaning and the underlying meaning of what is said are not the same. The use of irony may require the concept of a double audience. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for incongruous and applied to «every trivial oddity» in situations where there is no double audience. Sullivan, whose real interest was, ironically, serious music, which he composed with varying degrees of success, achieved fame for his comic opera scores rather than for his more earnest efforts. This sense, however, is not synonymous with «incongruous» but merely a definition of dramatic or situational irony. It is often included in definitions of irony not only that incongruity is present but also that the incongruity must reveal some aspect of human vanity or folly.
Thus the majority of American Heritage Dictionary’s usage panel found it unacceptable to use the word ironic to describe mere unfortunate coincidences or surprising disappointments that «suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly. The term irony has its roots in the Greek comic character Eiron, a clever underdog who by his wit repeatedly triumphs over the boastful character Alazon. The Socratic irony of the Platonic dialogues derives from this comic origin. Aristotle mentions Eironeia, which in his time was commonly employed to signify, not according to the modern use of ‘Irony, saying the contrary to what is meant’, but, what later writers usually express by Litotes, i.
The word came into English as a figure of speech in the 16th century as similar to the French ironie. It derives from the Latin ironia and ultimately from the Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation, ignorance purposely affected. Classical irony: Referring to the origins of irony in Ancient Greek comedy, and the way classical and medieval rhetoricians delineated the term. Romantic irony: A self-aware and self-critical form of fiction. Cosmic irony: A contrast between the absolute and the relative, the general and the individual, which Hegel expressed by the phrase, «general of the world. Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. An ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation, but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different, and often opposite, attitude or evaluation.
Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers. For instance, if a man exclaims, «I’m not upset! We’re left in no doubt as to who’s ambitious and who’s honourable. The literal truth of what’s written clashes with the perceived truth of what’s meant to revealing effect, which is irony in a nutshell». Ironic similes are a form of verbal irony where a speaker intends to communicate the opposite of what they mean.