Irony Definition. Etymology (Lecture #1)

As promised, I am coming back with my first post in the “Irony and Sarcasm Lecture” series. Although it may be a bit chaotic and confusing, I promise that in time, everything will clear up. However, I still hope you will like it (You see, I have no life, so this blog is really important to me). 

We often hear about irony and sarcasm. Still, to most of us, these terms are completely and utterly foreign. And I will include myself here, because, no matter how much I like to bitch out on this blog, I am not that much of an ironic person in real life.

So, I find it really important to start my “Lecture on Irony and Sarcasm” with a proper, simple definition of irony. But first, I’ll have to clarify some terms, without which I would be completely lost.

  • Literal meaning: the day-to-day meaning of the words, the one we use in normal conversation and the one that does not hide anything behind it. Example: I haven’t had anything to eat today. I am hungry. 
  • Figurative meaning: the meaning that relates to the literal meaning in order to make the message stronger. Example: She was hungry to read as many books as possible . (As you can notice, nobody in the world actually feeds on reading in the literal sense of the word. However, people can be so eager to read as much as possible, so that it becomes close to a necessity, such as feeding.)

Now, let’s get back to our beloved irony and its definition. According to http://www.dictionary.reference.com, Irony is:

the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.

Example:

“How beautiful you look in this dress, darling!” (said when the dress actually looks horrible on that poor lady). Here‘s an image to see what I am talking about.

Or, better yet:

“Yes, sure, I have read your blog, it is a wonderful masterpiece of the modern writing. Yes, sure, those reviews are amazing and you seem to know so much about technology! (said when someone is talking to be about this blog, but they have never actually read anything on it).

This definition covers only one type of irony though. There is much more to it than this, but I wanted to start out with small steps and gradually gather information to share with you. Next “lecture”, we will learn about the types of irony out there and how they are used.

Just to give you an idea of how far back in time irony goes, check the word’s etymology. In this new light of things, irony is a lot more than simply mocking someone or something, although this is the sense most of us use today. But then again, this is part of a different lecture and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Until then, let’s see if someone is actually reading this. Comment with one example of irony that comes through your mind. You can use the examples above as a template if you want to, or if you think you have better suggestions, please go ahead and write them down.

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Ever Tried? Fail Better

I know you’ve missed me, guys. Fortunately for all the people I owe money to (promise to give them back even if it’s the last thing I do, guys), I am not dead. Or at least not yet.

A long time ago I promised a lecture on irony and sarcasm. And then I miserably failed to keep up with my promise (I did however try to share a very cute prezi presentation with you- I swear to God, it was very cute and informative, but I think there’s a conspiration against me and my blog and they don’t allow you to see it, it’s probably some Illuminati shit going on there).

What happened?

I spilled coffee all over the keyboard.

And then I got broke. I’ve always been poor but the last few weeks have been, uh, very un-productive (by the way, do you know someone who needs a freelance writer to write stuff for them?).

But now I’m back. And I will deliver my thing. Stay around and you’ll get the lecture. I promise.

Yeah, I know I did that the last time as well.

Irony and Sarcasm – First Lecture Preview

OK, I keep my promise (thank you, my fans, mom, dad, bitches at kindergarten who told me I’m fat) and I am coming back with a preview for tomorrow’s lecture. Just to keep you curious, you know…

Here’s the lecture presentation (based on which I will write a long post tomorrow).

http://prezi.com/qfi5o2_ah6in/present/?auth_key=vq544v6&follow=fikgvk3xwcjh&kw=present-qfi5o2_ah6in&rc=ref-37855291

( Later Edit : OK, I’m new to this, but I thought it was cute and I have no idea how to make it actually presentable for everyone. Go to the lower right and there’s a small clock. Click on it and choose 10 sec. and then click on the screen. the awesomeness will appear)

What Is Irony, Anyway?

When I started this blog, I intended to make it a sanctuary of irony and sarcasm. Still, it seems that the only thing I succeeded was showing how irony examples seem to come in and out of my life as if the Universe was constantly plotting against me. Another thing I have succeeded is to make an ironic example of this entire blog (that is, this blog is ironic in the sense that it is ironic how not-very-ironic-still-tagging-itself-as-ironic the posts I have made so far are). Still, I have big plans (and imagine Ozzy singing “I’m just a dreamer” now- I’m too lazy to actually link it, just imagine it playing until the end of this post). Continue reading