instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hold that thought

First, my apologies for being so tardy with this:

Now, as an element of rhetoric irony can be defined as:
Speaking in such a way as to imply the contrary of what one says, often for the purpose of derision, mockery, or jest.
Rhetorical irony can be -- can be? shall be! -- distinguished from "situational irony," in which the contrariety isn't between word and implication, but between expectation and event.

Describing a situational irony is not in itself an act of rhetorical irony, although it could be done with irony:
Situational irony: A firehouse burns down.

Describing a situational irony without rhetorical irony: "Did you hear? The firehouse burned down!"

Describing a situational irony with rhetorical irony: "Did you hear? The firehouse burned down! No doubt they just wanted the practice."
As is often the case, this last example intends the irony to be humorous. Note, though, that you can describe a situational irony in a way intended to be humorous but without using rhetorical irony.

Okay, I think the table is set for the previous (and, God willing, the next) post.