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Irony pervades contemporary language. From its use in sarcasm, comedy and just
everyday conversation, irony has long transcended from only being a literary device.
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Irony can best be defined as that middle ground between what is said and what is meant, or others’ understanding of what was said and what was meant. It can sometimes be a bit confusing, yet at the same time it can also be amusing. There are several examples of irony which can be summed up in various categories.
This type of irony may occur when the outcome of a certain situation is completely different than what was initially expected. It is often referred to as an “irony of events.” Examples of irony in the situational category include a contradiction or sharp contrast.
Example: A person who claims to be a vegan and avoids meat but will eat a slice of pepperoni pizza because they are hungry. It may not make sense, but it is an illustration of irony. Example: A man who is a traffic cop gets his license suspended for unpaid parking tickets. Example: An ambulance driver goes to a nightime bike accident scene and runs over the accident victim because the victim has crawled to the center of the road with their bike.
This type of irony can be attributed to some sort of misfortune. Usually cosmic irony is the end result of fate or chance.
Cosmic irony feeds on the notion that people cannot see the effects of their actions. Example: Later on in the lesson the teacher completely embarrasses the student. you lose it all. Duncan doesn't know Macbeth's plans but the audience knows what is going to happen. If you are playing blackjack chances are you will be up (making money) for awhile.000 per seal. chances are a killer is waiting. you know by the actions of a character that their number is about to be up. This is most often seen in horror films. When Juliet wakes up she finds Romeo dead and kills herself. Socratic Irony This type of irony is most relative in the great world of academia and is related to the Socratic teaching method. play or film and the audience is smarter than the characters. The Socratic teaching method encourages students to think and present opposing views while the teacher plays ignorant. He kills himself. Example: At a ceremony celebrating the rehabilitation of seals after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.. but. Example: Gambling. Dramatic Irony Dramatic irony occurs when there is miscommunication in a book. you realize that if a character walks into an abandoned warehouse. Example: In Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth appears to be loyal to Duncan but he is planning Duncan's murder. and sometimes the outcome of a person’s actions may be out of their control. and then just when you thought things were going good. but because you are a member of the audience you cannot disclose the information to the character. . If you are watching a horror movie.. Example: In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged state and he thinks she is dead. Example: As an audience member. Example: The Titanic was promoted as being 100% unsinkable. in 1912 the ship sank on its maiden voyage. by illustrating how their points were both foolish and ignorant. two seals were released back into the wild only to be eaten within a minute by a killer whale. at an average cost of $80. The Socratic teaching method is widely used at prestigious colleges and universities on the undergraduate level where bustling minds are quick to ignore the obvious in exchange for coming up with a grand explanation to a not so grand problem.
" Example: In "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer criticizes the clergy who had become corrupt. however he expects students to come to class after having read their assignment. Example: Another way in which Socratic irony is used is when a person pretends to be completely ignorant about a topic in an argument just to get an upper hand in the argument. Example: A beautiful. It was a derogatory statement. Socratic irony can be used as a tactical strategy in getting what you want. yet created with wit. Sarcasm Sarcasm is yet another popular form of irony where the user intends to wittily attack or make a derogatory statement about something or someone. Top Ten Examples of Irony for Children Education.but tomorrow I shall be sober. by referring to the Friar as a "wanton and merry" person who takes bribes and seduces women.” The talent agent said the phrase referring to the young actress’ extracurricular activities with fellow talent agents. ready to answer the professor's questions. Sarcasm can often be funny. you are ugly. Pop Culture. actress walked by a table of talent agents as one said “there goes a good time that was had by all. sarcasm is confused with irony instead of being a recognized form of irony. and witty yet simultaneously it can be hurtful and humiliating. Kids.. Often. Parents. Example: At a party a lady tells Winston Churchhill he is drunk to which Churchhill said "My dear. Example: A child asks his parents how the presents got under the Christmas tree to which the parents reply that they have no idea. Top Ten Thursdays Add comments May 172012 . Example: A professor never answers questions and does not explain key concepts of the course. Parody.. Humor.
04. You can’t wait to play with the radio-controlled car that your parents gave you for your birthday. 05. then misspell your name on the test. 02. The kids in the neighborhood work you into a frenzy of excitement as they explain how Santa Claus brings children presents on Christmas Eve. 03. your neighbor accidentally backs over your dog in his car. so it’s important to teach children at an early age. You study all-week for a spelling test. but you discover they forgot to buy batteries. only to return home and have your mother explains what it means to be a Jehovah’s Witness. . Here are the top ten ironic examples for children: 01.A lot of adults don’t understand what irony is. Your parents name your little sister Prissy and she grows up to be a major tomboy. After taking pleasure in poisoning your neighbor’s mean dog that bit you.
07. you do. but every time she brought him a dish. She remained patient and continued to try to help him until the end of the meal. WORKSHEETS: Identifying Irony Directions: Read the following examples of irony. only to have it shut down after someone is slung off the ride the day before you’re supposed to visit the park. 1. but the hair was actually grey like his own. “Thank you for the generous tip. then you go home and your father announces he’s leaving your mother for someone named Jose. then you discover you’re deathly allergic to them. You look forward to all the caramels and saltwater taffy you’re going to score on Halloween night.06. You can’t wait to finally be 48″ tall so that you can ride the big-ass rollercoaster at the amusement park. Dramatic irony – This occurs when the reader or audience understands more about the events of a story than a character. Verbal irony – A character says one thing but really means the opposite. You tease another kid at school for acting so gay. the understudy. Situational irony – This occurs when what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. will come down with the flu on opening night. First he thought that the soup was too cold when it was hot. She replied on his way out. Then he said that his steak was dry and chewy. only to find out you’re getting braces on October 30. 10. The waitress tried to provide him with excellent service. A mean old man ate a large meal at a restaurant. You beg your parents to let you have a kitten. When she calls you from the hospital to tell you to break a leg before you go onstage. can go onstage. 09. the lead in the school play. Determine which of the three types of irony are being used and then explain your answer. so you.” Which type of irony is used? Verbal Irony Explain your answer: . when he left her a quarter for a tip. when it was moist and succulent. 08. Then he complained that one of her blonde hairs was in his mashed potatoes. he complained. You pray that the Margie Miller. Mister.
on a 60 Minutes interview. Apparently. Eminem claimed that there was no swearing in his own home and that his children were not allowed to play music with curse words. Which type of irony is used? Dramatic Irony Explain your answer: Reader's know that Lucy doesn't like Tom. Eminem has made a fortune selling his curse filled songs to millions of children around the world. She tells him that she’s always thought he was funny. 4. would curse in his own home. when in fact the opposite is true. One day. and Lucy doesn’t even have a car. But. He also thinks that his jokes are funny because she is laughing after everything that he says. and he was looking forward to seeing the smiles on their faces as the circus performers amazed them with their stunts. When Lawrence saw the posters for the circus hanging on the bulletin board. So Lucy calls up Tom and asks him how he’s doing. but Tom believes the opposite. The rapper Eminem is well-known for his song writing ability. Tom has always liked Lucy. 2. a renouned potty-mouth. but Lucy has always thought Tom was annoying and unattractive. 3. as he swept up the trimmings at Slim’s Barbershop. Lucy comes home to find an eviction notice on her door. Tom thinks that Lucy has finally come around is beginning to like her. Lawrence spent 45 dollars just getting tickets. The day finally came and . They loved animals. her roommate had been spending the rent money that Lucy was giving her on other things. including his own tracks. Lucy only has 24 hours to get all her stuff over to her mom’s house. he knew he would be taking his little cousins. Which type of irony is used? Situational Irony Explain your answer: One might expect that Eminem. but he is equally known for his shockingly profane and obscene lyrical content.The waitress expresses gratitude when she intends the opposite. and that they should hang out sometime. But sweeping up hair clippings didn’t pay a whole lot. But it was worth it to see his cousins’ faces. But Tom has a truck.
Mr. But Lawrence soon realized that he and his cousins would be thirsty and hungry. termites got into the wood and had been chewing away the support beams for several months. That’s totally worth it. Desperately thirsty. a small company that employs fifteen workers. Anytime a person wants to add a permanent structure to their home or property. Bath is the president of Make-A-Bath Industries. when in fact the opposite was true. Reinhart before construction can begin. Lawrence asked him how much a lemonade would cost. Reinhart checks to see that each plan is safe before construction begins. one of whom will be Tom Miller.” The drink vendor walked away. So Tom charges a whole . but he doesn’t have any money. so he has been delaying giving Tom and the other employees the bad news. Tom wants to buy nice gifts for his six children. when the structure suddenly collapsed. Reinhart was having a party at his house. Bath has to fire three workers. 6. “Oh. One day Mr. Mr.everyone was excited as they walked into that big circus tent. Mr. and now Mr. including Tom Miller. he is responsible for ensuring that every structure in the county is built properly. the building plans need to be approved by Mr. As they sat in their seats. But Christmas is approaching. Reinhart is the building inspector for the entire county. such as a deck or balcony. Once building begins. he checks to see that construction is going according to the plan. 5. In a way. father of six. that’s it? Just eleven dollars? What a great deal for one cup of lemonade. Apparently. when in fact the opposite is true. Which type of irony is used? Situational Irony Explain your answer: One might expect that the building inspect would have a safe home. “Eleven dollars each. He and his three guests were barbequing on the porch attached to his house. Which type of irony is used? Verbal Irony Explain your answer: Lawrence expresses the notion that the lemonade is priced fairly. Bath has never fired anyone before. But Mr.” Lawrence replied. the drink vendor walked by selling beverages. Ever since the economy went down the tubes. and the drink vendor said. Make-A-Bath hasn’t been selling bath tubs like they once did.
when in fact it endangers Vince. Which type of irony is used? Dramatic Irony Explain your answer: Tom believes he will continue working. He put covers on the outlets. Determine which of the three types of irony are being used and then explain your answer. Tom is looking forward to one of the best Christmases ever. But right as Mr.bunch of nice gifts on his credit card. Goodenwell was adjusting the covers on the door knobs. making good on his vow to protect his son. when all Vince did was lie in a pillow and drink milk. but the reader knows that the opposite is true. 2nd Identifying Irony Directions: Read the following examples of irony. he started walking. Situational irony – This occurs when what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. Dramatic irony – This occurs when the reader or audience understands more about the events of a story than a character. But as little Vince grew bigger. 1. Verbal irony – A person or character says one thing but really means the opposite. went to the store and bought $150 worth of equipment to childproof his home. Vince pulled the cap off an outlet and choked on it. he swore that he'd do anything to protect the little guy. When Mr. Which type of irony is used? Situational Irony Explain your answer: One would expect that childproofing a home would protect the child. figuring that he can pay it back with money from his checks that he will be getting from his job all year. Goodenwell found him just in time. And once he started walking. Goodenwell. Mr. This was easy at first. bumpers on the table corners. He was becoming a serious threat to himself when Mr. so he likes to get his kids nice Christmas presents. and a sliding lock on the toilet lid. he got into everything. Goodenwell saw his baby boy Vince for the first time. . Tom and his family don’t have a lot of extra money to spend.
"Wow! What an awesome flip. 3. When the whistle blew." Romeo sneered.2. Timmy failed to notice this." Timmy chuckled. You'll have to teach me that. Tony Hawk. skateboarding may look easy. and raced on to the next. When Timmy got to the fair grounds. Ask Juan Guerrero. Unfortunately. but they pretty much ignore him completely. Juan had his chance. let alone doing any tricks. but he didn't mind. loser twins. the skaters. never noticing that his sack wasn't getting heavier. When you see a good skater on TV or in a video game. Timmy was off. "well. Timmy was elated that he was the first to finish. "Why don't you use my board? Show me one of those flips. Making friends isn't easy. As he approached the end of the course." Romeo didn't believe him. but I do flips and grinds and all that stuff. The Solomon brothers got more eggs than Timmy every year because there were two of them and they counted their eggs as one. after Juan said he could skate. right before he noticed that his sack was empty. where's your board?" Juan replied shakily. He was surprised to see the Solomon brothers behind him. but just moving properly. but not breakfast eggs. "Uh. I was not the least bit surprised when Juan landed flat on his can before he even made it across a single sidewalk square. You see. Now Juan eats lunch alone. but the reader knows that the opposite is true. Timmy suspected that this was cheating but he couldn't articulate the notion. Nobody picks on him really. "Oh yeah?" asked my boy Romeo. he clutched his Easter egg sack behind his back and approached the Solomon brothers." Romeo challenged. "Maybe next year. clipping the corner of Timmy's egg sack and making quite a big hole. Timmy Holloway woke up to the smell of eggs. takes a lot of practice. That's right Timmy had a craving for Easter eggs. The Solomon brothers were right behind him. There was only one thing standing in his way. Timmy beat them to every egg. . "Uh… Ok. We almost adopted him into our crew. since he was much faster than they. Juan gulped and grabbed the board. well two really: the Solomon brothers. Because of this." he replied. and today was the day to get them boy howdy. One bright and warm Easter morning. at least since the incident. who moved to New High School High three months ago but still eats lunch by himself. Easter eggs. The taller one distracted Timmy while the shorter one snuck behind him. Which type of irony is used? Dramatic Irony Explain your answer: Timmy thinks that he is winning the egg hunt. my mom ran over it with her car.
Which type of irony is used? Verbal Irony Explain your answer: Romeo expresses admiration for Juan when in fact he means the opposite. this meal is going to be expensive. but when she stepped on to the scale. she ate a bag of baked potato chips. When Bertha woke up the next morning. 5. "You know. along with two low-calorie icecream sandwiches for dessert. a sweater! Thanks Bobby. Is it cool if I just wear it another time?" Bobby huffed. A week later. Which type of irony is used? Situational Irony / Dramatic Irony . which are healthier than normal chips. however. When she got home she had a low-sodium bacon sandwich and a diet soda. 4. Janet. but she appreciated her boyfriend's effort. Bobby made reservations for two at the fanciest restaurant in town "Janet. she saw that she had gained a pound. The least you could do is act like you appreciate my gift. That day she threw out all of the junk food in her fridge and went grocery shopping. She was determined to lose weight." said Janet after opening the present. They seemed much tighter than usual. I want to take you somewhere special." Bobby told her. Wear that sweater that I got you. "Um… that sweater doesn't quite match these boots I want to wear. she exchanged it for some boots at the first chance she got. Bertha Berger struggled to put on her blue jeans. Before she went to bed. Which type of irony is used? Dramatic Irony Explain your answer: Bobby believes that Janet likes or has the sweater when in fact the opposite is true. Janet thought the sweater was hideous. and dipped them into low-fat cream cheese. so she bought low-fat and reduced calorie versions of all of her favorite foods. she was pleased with how well her diet was going. I have good news to tell you. "Wow." Janet paused to think. Janet didn't know how to react. For dinner she had two turkey burgers with reduced fat cheese and half-fat mayonnaise. so she stepped on the bathroom scale and received the bad news. She had never seen such a high number on the little scale. But since Janet had seen the sweater before at a store in the mall. so she resolved to change. As the holiday season ended.
Annie thought that she’d surprise him with romance. Using the irony detectives answer sheet.” Annie’s heart dropped. He must be leaving me a message. so she snuck into his house using the spare key under his doormat and waited in his room for him to come home from a business trip. While waiting for him to come home. billboards. 3rd: Irony Detectives Activity Directions: Read the following crime related ironic passages. No one was injured. you know you’re the one I love. 2. and bus advertisements telling young people not to use drugs.” she thought she heard Scott say. Reckless Endangerment Swanson Wisconsin was a famous child star. Swanson Wisconsin crashed her Bentley into hotdog stand. Twenty minutes later. when the reader knows that the opposite is true. 1. and felt her hand tense on the release button. Then she heard Scott continue to talk. Assault and Battery Annie Allen loved her fiancé Scott. All over the country the message was heard: “Be like Swanson Wisconsin. and then she heard the sound of feet walking up the stairs and Scott’s voice. determine which type of irony is used each passage based on clues that you find. She grabbed the pepper spray from out of her purse. Swanson Wisconsin appeared on several commercials. she thought the surprise might be even better if she hid in his closet. then make your case. She had several platinum selling albums. she heard keys rustling in the lock. but Swanson Wisconsin was extremely disorientated. “You know I can’t wait to see you.” One fateful December evening. Feeling particularly in love with Scott. she’s nothing serious. And besides. Annie pleasantly thought to herself. smiling and laughing as he flirted with Katie on the phone. Swanson Wisconsin was extremely wealthy and had the respect and admiration of millions of boys and girls around the world. Scott walked into the room.Explain your answer: One might expect diet food to lower Bertha's weight when the opposite is true. Baby. At . So she did. unlatched the safety. She was everywhere. and a series of straight-to-DVD films that received terrible reviews but sold really well. Think up. She was even the face of the antidrug movement. “No. Don’t get high. The door slammed. Katie. / Bertha thinks that she will lose weight. Annie loved him so much that he was all that she thought about all day. her own TV sitcom.
” Jimmy was scheduled to do a six-year stretch in Statesville for a bank job that got messy in suburbs. No lock could hold Jimmy and that’s why they called him “the Lock. Jack was in such a hurry that he didn’t even pull into a parking spot. Jimmy headed out the door to meet his contact. and sledgehammer. Jimmy the Lock had locked himself out of his house. so she grabbed a few bucks out of the slush fund for lunch and told herself that she would pay it back tomorrow. he couldn’t find his keys. The next day she decided that she needed to go grocery shopping after work. and COPS was starting in two minutes. So Suzy grabbed her grocery money out of the slush fund. but the door wouldn’t open. and again she . He looked around a bit. Finally. Jimmy went back to get his keys. Jack replied dutifully to his wife. Bobby the Rat. Jack hurriedly completed the transaction and ran outside. but Jill said that he needed to stop at the minimart to get some bread for dinner. but it was no where in sight. As the secretary. Gathering up all of his tools and gear. She was really hungry.” he said to himself. Embezzlement Suzy works in a big sky scrapper downtown. she didn’t pay it back. Breaking and Entering Jimmy the Lock was a master safecracker. As he went to jump into his car. His watch read 7:01. Again she told herself that she would pay it back. Now Jimmy was set up to get the score of his life. It first started when she forgot her wallet at home. stethoscope. Grand Theft Auto Jack was on his way home from work when his wife Jill called him. “Yes. Dear. When tomorrow came. the clerk rang up Jack right as Jack’s watch read 6:59. She is the secretary for the regional manager of operations at Bork and Mork’s Corks and Forks. COPS. He patted down his pockets before he realized that he must have left them in his other thieving-pants.the hospital. 4. 5. He was in a hurry to get home and watch his favorite show. The slush fund started at around five thousand dollars. as he reached in his pocket to call his wife. “Great. He just pulled up right next to the door. He grabbed the bread from the middle aisle and got in the line behind a skinny guy wearing a leather jacket. he noticed that it was gone. but Suzy has been dipping her hands into the slush fund. but he checked himself out before they could slam the cell door shut. but she didn’t get paid until next week and she was out of money. but when he got to his car. and tranquilizers in her system to murder an elephant.” When he got to the minimart. she was entrusted with a large supply of loose cash called a slush fund. It was 6:58. blood tests revealed that Swanson Wisconsin had enough crystal meth.” Jack sighed. Jack tapped his foot impatiently as the man purchased lottery tickets. He could bust open any safe in the world in under an hour using a crow bar. drill. He had the blueprints all laid out to do a job on an armored car diamond delivery. 3. so Jack just left his car running and ran into the store. cocaine. “How wonderful.
” Jose didn’t want to steal. After Angel had his lunch money stolen from him on his way home from school. He went home to find his little brother crying. If you want in. Angel replied in between sobs.” Jose didn’t want to destroy the property. Angel?” Jose asked concernedly. and Suzy bought herself all kinds of fancy goods and services. His heart was beating so fast and he was so nervous. “Cobra’s don’t think about doing what they’re told. Jose decided that his family had been the victims of criminals for the last time. That afternoon Suzy’s boss. Roll the bike off the top of that abandoned building and we’ll think about making you a Cobra.did not. “I want an open bar. you’ll go steal that bike right over there at the minimart. This pattern went on for another week or two. the whole shebang! I want a nacho cheese fountain with at least four types of cheeses. With her freshly manicured nails. but he would have to pass an initiation: Jose would have to steal a bicycle. “Great. He heard the sound of it smashing to pieces and then he heard Ice and his gang chuckling. So Jose talked to Ice. seven swans a swimming. so Jose couldn’t get in the gang. my birthday is next Friday.” he said sternly. a gang that worked on his block. “My… my… bike. When he went back to Ice.” but Ice responded. but was eventually able to block it out of her mind. Jose told Ice. Suzy opened the slush found box and found that it was empty. He grabbed the bike and rode it back to Ice. Meister went on. “Suzy. She began to panic. “What’s wrong. Jose couldn’t believe he did all of that for nothing. Larceny and Destruction of Property Jose and his little brother Angel were always getting picked on by the older boys in his neighborhood. Jose rolled the bike up the seven flights of stairs to the building rooftop. Jose closed his eyes and pushed the bike off the building. so he would do it for him. but he was kind of relieved that he was leaving the gang life behind him. He knew it was wrong. Mr. Somebody stole my bike. but he was sick of his brother getting picked on and being the victim of crime.” .” Suzy noticed the look of childlike joy and excitement in his eyes as he imagined the extravagant party that would never happen. Jose would join the Cobras. His heart was beating like a drum machine. “As you may know. Spare no expense. a clown. Jose thought that he and his brother would have the protection that they needed to get to and from school without being harassed if Jose were a Cobra. the leader of the Cobras. “I’ll have to think about it.” Suzy gulped as Mr. Ice said that they might have a spot for Jose. So Jose ran up to the bike. Jose hardly paid attention to anything around him. Drain every penny from the slush fund. but he thought that the only person who could give them protection was Ice. and Suzy shuddered to think of what tomorrow would bring. I want you to throw me the biggest party this office has ever seen. 6. Meister. Ice was pleased and said. Ice told him that he had hesitated too much and that Cobra’s don’t hesitate. everything was a blur. called Suzy into his office.
Assault and Battery What type of irony is used in the passage? Dramatic Irony Make your case (explain your answer): Scott believes he is alone and safe in his home when the reader knows that the opposite is true. Noodles. Breaking and Entering What type of irony is used in the passage? Situational Irony Make your case (explain your answer): One would expect a master locksportist would not get locked out of their own property. When the store owner arrived the next day. I really appreciate it. and property owners considered him a menace. Vandalism Though the police considered him a criminal. 3. 2. anything he could reach.” He never got to thank Noodles personally. “Oh! Thank you. How nice of you. he was heard to utter. Noodles spray painted his name in big block letters over the window of the local grocery store. shop windows. One day. Reckless Endangerment of Human Life What type of irony is used in the passage? Situational Irony Make your case (explain your answer): One would expect that the face of the anti-drug movement wouldn't do drugs when the opposite is true. but the opposite is true. billboards. Noodles considered himself an artist. though he often wished that he had. Name: __________________________ Irony Detectives Answer Sheet 1. Noodles would paint huge murals and spray can artwork on everything he could reach. water towers. overpasses. to spray paint your name over my store window like that. .7.
when in fact he means the complete opposite. Larceny and Destruction of Property What type of irony is used in the passage? Situational Irony Make your case (explain your answer): Jose joins a gang to protect his family. Grand Theft Auto What type of irony is used in the passage? Verbal Irony Make your case (explain your answer): Jack expresses joy at the loss of his car. when in fact he means the opposite. . 6. 5. when doing so causes him to harm his own family. Vandalism What type of irony is used in the passage? Verbal Irony Make your case (explain your answer): The store owner expresses appreciation for the vandal.4. Meister believes that the slush fund has money. Embezzlement What type of irony is used in the passage? Dramatic Irony Make your case (explain your answer): Mr. when the opposite is true. 7.
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