Irony

related topics
{theory, work, human}
{film, series, show}
{language, word, form}
{god, call, give}
{system, computer, user}
{water, park, boat}

Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance)[1] is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions. Ironic statements (verbal irony) often convey a meaning exactly opposite from their literal meaning. In ironic situations (situational irony), actions often have an effect exactly opposite from what is intended. The discordance of verbal irony is created as a means of communication (as in art or rhetoric). Descriptions or depictions of situational and dramatic ironies, whether in fiction or in non-fiction, serve a communicative function of sharpening or highlighting certain discordant features of reality.

Verbal and situational irony are often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth. The ironic form of simile, used in sarcasm, and some forms of litotes emphasize one's meaning by the deliberate use of language which states the opposite of the truth — or drastically and obviously understates a factual connection.

In dramatic irony, the author causes a character to speak or act erroneously, out of ignorance of some portion of the truth. This technique highlights the importance of truth by portraying a person who is strikingly unaware of it.

In certain kinds of situational or historical irony, a factual truth is highlighted by some person's complete ignorance of it or his belief in the opposite of it. However, this state of affairs does not occur by human design. In some religious contexts, such situations have been seen as the deliberate work of Divine Providence to emphasize truths and to taunt humans for not being aware of them when they could easily have been enlightened (this is similar to human use of irony). Such ironies are often more evident, or more striking, when viewed retrospectively in the light of later developments which make the truth of past situations obvious to all.


Contents

Full article ▸

related documents
Fallacy
Agnosticism
Educational perennialism
Altruism
Darwin's Dangerous Idea
Polymath
Nominalism
Paradigm shift
Rationalism
Socialist realism
Collectivism
Bob Black
Émile Durkheim
Cybernetics
Category of being
Sociology of religion
Intellectual history
Fact
Tabula rasa
Max Stirner
Epiphenomenalism
Spirituality
Gaia philosophy
Confirmation bias
B. F. Skinner
Averroes
John Rawls
Classical education movement
Ethics
Argument from nonbelief