Irony is the most powerful force in the universe. …

Irony is the most powerful force in the universe. Irony depends on the audience being able to recognize the opposition between what is obvious on the surface and what is known, but not apparent. Irony is what makes humans special. Slapstick hits the reptilian brain – it’s physiological – but only conscious human intelligence can produce irony. My favorite superhero would be Irony Man. His superpower would be: “to make observations that reveal insight into human nature, especially poigniant in consideration of facts known only to the audience.”

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4 Responses to “Irony is the most powerful force in the universe. …”

  1. Noz Says:

    To settle a little discussion, I present the required 3rd party evidence. Note, the relegation of the notion of “actors” – either in the dramatic sense or that of simple “participants” or “entities” – to trailing bullets. Note also the prominent use of the word “ironic”, and the concept of incongruity (misrepresentation and “opposites”), in the definitions for sarcasm.

    Although I don�t like MSN�s implication that humour is somehow required for irony, I do like their implication that I�m more right than you guys were. And I love the fact that the literal meaning, �Noz was right�, is in sweet, sweet congruity with the implied meaning �Noz, of course, was right�. Not a drop of ironic juices to be found.

    Had a wicked time out in the �Dam. Look forward to doing it all again soon. We can go 10 rounds over what solipsism really is.

    : D

    “And as the plane crashed down, he thought, ‘Well isn’t this nice?’ It’s like Raiii-aaaain…”

    Dictionary.com
    Irony

    1.
    a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
    b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
    c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.

    2.
    a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: �Hyde noted the irony of Ireland’s copying the nation she most hated� (Richard Kain).
    b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity. See Usage Note at ironic.

    3. Dramatic irony.

    4. Socratic irony.

    sarcasm
    1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
    2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.

    dictionary.msn.com
    irony

    1. humor based on opposites: humor based on using words to suggest the opposite of their literal meaning

    2. something humorous based on contradiction: something said or written that uses humor based on words suggesting the opposite of their literal meaning

    3. incongruity: incongruity between what actually happens and what might be expected to happen, especially when this disparity seems absurd or laughable

    4. incongruous thing: something that happens that is incongruous with what might be expected to happen, especially when this seems absurd or laughable

    5. theater
    Same as dramatic irony

    6. philosophy
    Same as Socratic irony

    Sarcasm

    cutting language: remarks that mean the opposite of what they seem to say and are intended to mock or deride

  2. Noz Says:

    To settle a little discussion, I present the required 3rd party evidence. Note, the relegation of the notion of “actors” – either in the dramatic sense or that of simple “participants” or “entities” – to trailing bullets. Note also the prominent use of the word “ironic”, and the concept of incongruity (misrepresentation and “opposites”), in the definitions for sarcasm.

    Although I don�t like MSN�s implication that humour is somehow required for irony, I do like their implication that I�m more right than you guys were. And I love the fact that the literal meaning, �Noz was right�, is in sweet, sweet congruity with the implied meaning �Noz, of course, was right�. Not a drop of ironic juices to be found.

    Had a wicked time out in the �Dam. Look forward to doing it all again soon. We can go 10 rounds over what solipsism really is.

    : D

    “And as the plane crashed down, he thought, ‘Well isn’t this nice?’ It’s like Raiii-aaaain…”

    Dictionary.com
    Irony

    1.
    a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
    b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
    c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.

    2.
    a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: �Hyde noted the irony of Ireland’s copying the nation she most hated� (Richard Kain).
    b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity. See Usage Note at ironic.

    3. Dramatic irony.

    4. Socratic irony.

    sarcasm
    1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
    2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.

    dictionary.msn.com
    irony

    1. humor based on opposites: humor based on using words to suggest the opposite of their literal meaning

    2. something humorous based on contradiction: something said or written that uses humor based on words suggesting the opposite of their literal meaning

    3. incongruity: incongruity between what actually happens and what might be expected to happen, especially when this disparity seems absurd or laughable

    4. incongruous thing: something that happens that is incongruous with what might be expected to happen, especially when this seems absurd or laughable

    5. theater
    Same as dramatic irony

    6. philosophy
    Same as Socratic irony

    Sarcasm

    cutting language: remarks that mean the opposite of what they seem to say and are intended to mock or deride

  3. Fergusson Says:

    Hey Noz. Thanks for writing – ‘Dam was lots of fun. When are you heading out to the ‘Couv again? I need to send you back to the hotel at 5AM Pacific time – turnaround is fair play…

    Irony Man: If he’s a comic book hero, he has to have an audience, right? His superpower would depend on the participation of the person reading the comic book (I’d even have him kind of look like Woody Allen).

    It’s not so funny if I have to explain it to you – Geez.

    Now, as far as my actual definition (not just the example of Irony Man): The American Heritage Dictionary says:

    “The words ironic, irony, and ironically are sometimes used of events and circumstances that might better be described as simply �coincidental� or �improbable,� in that they suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly (Fergusson’s emphasis). Thus 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejects the use of ironically in the sentence: ‘In 1969 Susie moved from Ithaca to California where she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came from upstate New York’. Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susie had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us.”

    I say: Lessons to whom? Well, the audience, of course. “Of course” in the sense of “of course, Michael was right all along”. Although, if I was to be wrong, it would be you I would want to be right, Noz.

  4. Fergusson Says:

    Hey Noz. Thanks for writing – ‘Dam was lots of fun. When are you heading out to the ‘Couv again? I need to send you back to the hotel at 5AM Pacific time – turnaround is fair play…

    Irony Man: If he’s a comic book hero, he has to have an audience, right? His superpower would depend on the participation of the person reading the comic book (I’d even have him kind of look like Woody Allen).

    It’s not so funny if I have to explain it to you – Geez.

    Now, as far as my actual definition (not just the example of Irony Man): The American Heritage Dictionary says:

    “The words ironic, irony, and ironically are sometimes used of events and circumstances that might better be described as simply �coincidental� or �improbable,� in that they suggest no particular lessons about human vanity or folly (Fergusson’s emphasis). Thus 78 percent of the Usage Panel rejects the use of ironically in the sentence: ‘In 1969 Susie moved from Ithaca to California where she met her husband-to-be, who, ironically, also came from upstate New York’. Some Panelists noted that this particular usage might be acceptable if Susie had in fact moved to California in order to find a husband, in which case the story could be taken as exemplifying the folly of supposing that we can know what fate has in store for us.”

    I say: Lessons to whom? Well, the audience, of course. “Of course” in the sense of “of course, Michael was right all along”. Although, if I was to be wrong, it would be you I would want to be right, Noz.


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