Posts

Showing posts with the label eiron

What Is Irony?

Image
What is irony?Irony is the interruption or disruption of an established or expected discourse.  (This definition might not seem immediately helpful, but bear with me.)   Let's begin with a simple example of verbal irony.  You and a friend are looking out the window on a cold and rainy day.  Your friend says, "Beautiful weather."   Your friend is being ironic.  In the context, the "expected discourse" is "what terrible weather!"  You assume that what your friend "really" means is that the weather is terrible because that is what you would expect him to say.  In fact, some people claim that "saying the opposite of what you mean" is a definition of verbal irony.  However, it is rare that the intended meaning of an ironic statement is exactly the opposite of what is said.  Irony is almost always ambiguous (see Do No Harm:  Avoid Irony).


Verbal, situational and dramatic irony There are three different kinds of irony:  verbal irony, sit…

Do No Harm Part II: Avoid Irony

Image
In Education, sometimes less is moreI used to teach a course on Public Speaking.It took me three years to figure out how to properly organize and deliver the course.I think I finally did it right in the third year.The trick was to abandon my teacher ego (a subject for a future post), get out of the way, take care of administrative and secretarial necessities of the course, and allow the students to perform and to educate each other—as much as I could (which was never easy for me).A majority of the students who took this course were from the Faculty of Education and consequently destined for careers as educators.One message I passed on to all the students, especially those planning to become teachers:avoid irony. Every Joke has a victimThis is very complicated advice because if you ask students to list the five features they appreciate in teachers, a “sense of humour” is bound to appear consistently in the list.(Here is another issue that I suspect teacher training programs never deal w…