Is it Irony?

Is it Irony?

This page is designed to give a crash course on Irony, although it has been specifically aimed at American people, it may be of use to others who like using words they do not know the meaning of. If you can think of any other words which need to be clarified, please do let me know.

Irony DOES mean expressing yourself in such a way as to use an opposite - or demonstrably different tendency - sarcasm for example can be ironic - contrary to popular belief.

Irony could apply to something which is ill-timed - and thus unwelcome, whereas normally - or before -  it would be welcome. For example, if you gave up smoking and then won a years supply of cigarettes, this would be ironic. It would NOT be ironic if a neighbour you did not like won them instead of you (unless they had not even entered the competition)

Irony can also - more loosely - apply to a situation where something has happened that you would least expect BECAUSE of where/how it happened. For example, it is not ironic if the factory down the road burns down...... unless it made fire extinguishers or smoke detectors.

Irony does *not* mean sad, unhappy, bad luck etc unless it includes one of the above aspects. Your partner dumping you is not ironic - even if it is on your birthday (unless he told you he had some great news for you and you didn't want to be dumped).

It *would* be ironic however if he/she dumped you after you had been wanting to break up with them for some time - but now wanted to stay together.

Dramatic - or tragic - irony is different again and essentially involves statements which the audience are aware of the implications to, but not the actors concerned.

Socratic irony is altogether different and not really ironic at all (which I suppose IS Ironic - but only in this context). It involves "playing thick" to encourage someone else to demonstrate their own supposed knowledge. A classic example is if you tell the double glazing salesman about how little you know about windows, he will try to give you the impression that he is not just a failed used car salesman - and that he is, in fact, one of the leading authorities on how their patented extra lump of aluminium can stop crowbar assisted members of the public from gaining access to your belongings. The fact that the glazing probably isn't toughened and a handy house brick will usually bypass this piece of extreme cleverness conveniently eludes them.

 American people tend to use Socratic Irony very little...

Actually, I don't have a real problem with American people (except when they are tourists in London and become annoyed that they cannot simply "get a tube to Scotland"). Suggesting they take the Northern line to its last station and hailing a cab at that point usually sends them on their way though. It's strange, American people in America are often kind, charming and pleasant people - not at all like their touring counterparts. They seem to export themselves here with "Brenda, Sonny and Chuck", eat vast quantities of junk food before spitting everywhere and telling anyone who cares to listen that <insert whatever> is much bigger in the States - or "back 'ome".