Video:What Is Irony?with Heather Kamins
Irony is an effective and wide-spread literary tool that is often used freely in conversation and writing. Learn more about irony in this grammar video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is Irony?
Hello. This is Heather Kamins for About.com, and today I'm here to tell you what irony is.
What is Irony?
Irony refers to language you use to express a thought that is the opposite of what those words really mean. There are three main types of irony. Verbal irony is where someone says or writes something where they're expressing a thought that's the opposite of the words they're using. Sarcasm is one of the most common types of verbal irony.
Types of Irony
So for example, you might say, oh, I'm SO excited to do this project, but you're not really excited to do it. Verbal irony can have a humorous or strange effect, and it's usually recognized through the context or the tone in which it's delivered.
Situational irony is when something happens that's the opposite of what you'd expect. So for example, if you have a sign for a business that says Quality Groceries, but the Q is out and the sign is falling apart, that implies low-quality despite the name that says it's high-quality.
Finally, there's dramatic irony. This is where in a book or a movie, where the audience knows something that the character doesn't, and a piece of information can be taken differently by the audience than by the character. So for example, if a man says to a woman, I'm so glad I can trust you, the audience knows that the woman is secretly an undercover spy, and the man can't trust her. That's dramatic irony.
Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.