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hello grammarians today i want to talk about the concept of irony which is a very difficult concept to nail down because it means so many things but let's begin with the best definition I can muster which is that irony is the difference between expectation and result now this this contains a lot within it right so that means that irony is not only the engine of surprise but also jokes all jokes in English function on this engine of the difference between expectation and result you expect to hear one thing and then a joke plays with your expectation now there's nothing less funny than explaining why things are funny but this is why things are funny so today we're going to talk about three different kinds of irony and I'm going to give you an example of each now the first kind is called situational irony in situational irony everyone is aware of the discrepancy of the difference between expectation and result and a really classic example of this is the O'Henry short story the Gift of the Magi and it's about a couple who are very poor but who love each other very much and each one wants to get the other a really nice Christmas present now the man has a very lovely watch and the woman has really lovely long hair and unbeknownst to the other the woman buys her husband a watch chain and the man buys his wife a comb but in order to do that he sells his watch to buy her the comb and in order to buy him the watch chain the woman sells her hair and so they give each other gifts that are now useless this watch chain and this comb for the hair that isn't there and the watch that isn't there and the irony is that they are now aware that the the lengths that they went to for the other kind of ruined each other's gifts that situational irony it's kind of a happy ending because it proves stuff is just stuff and they love each other very much that's situational irony everyone is aware of the scrappin see irony variant number two is called dramatic irony and this means that there's an unevenly distributed awareness of the difference specifically that there's an audience so this is the sort of thing that really only comes into play in fiction or in dramatic work so we're talking about a play or a movie or whatever so let's say we've got a play here's our stage here's our here's our audience down here we have one character here character a who who really doesn't like bears and is talking about it he ever meets a bear he's probably going to punch that bear right in the face and here is character B who is a bear that is a bear in disguise wearing a hat and a tie now character B knows the character B is a bear the audience knows the character B is a bear character a is unaware so we have this unevenly distributed awareness of the difference between expectation and result character a expects the character B is not a bear but character B and the audience knows that the opposite is true that's dramatic irony now the third kind of irony we're going to talk about today is called the verbal irony so the irony of words and this one's a little different because verbal irony is the difference between a stated meaning and an actual meaning and this means that it can come in a couple of flavors the most notable and perhaps the most confusing is called sarcasm and sarcasm is when you say a thing but it actually ends up meaning something quite different usually the opposite so let's say an anvil very heavy metal object follows on my foot breaks my foot I am an extraordinary pain if you asked me how it was doing and I wanted to use sarcasm I would say something like oh I'm just great and I'm signaling with with my tone and also context to indicate that the opposite is true to say I'm actually terrible my foot is broken that's sarcasm now related to sarcasm is the pun which is usually a joke that plays on multiple so again let's take this case let's say my foot was crushed by an anvil you ask me how I'm doing I would say I'm feeling a little flat today no not a great joke sure but what I'm trying to express is that I'm both playing on the notion that I don't feel well I feel a little flat and that my foot has been squished by a heavy object literally rendering it flat that's what a pun is and again I recognized that by explaining the joke I have made the joke unfunny I apologize so to review let's put all of these together into one giant ironic situation so let's say you're watching a sitcom on television and this sitcom takes place in someone's apartment and that apartment has a thing called a Murphy bed now what a Murphy bed is is a bed that folds up into the wall to save space in a small apartment it's got this little handle up here you grab it you pull it down it becomes just a regular bed otherwise it's kept folded up into the wall so let's say we're watching a sitcom that takes place in a small apartment that has a Murphy bed let's say that our main character has just come home from the airport with her visiting cousin so again this is a sitcom this is all happening on your television right so this is all inside the frame now unbeknownst to our protagonist let's call her Anna and her cousin let's call her Bella a lion has crawled into the Murphy bed while the two of them were out I promise this has a point all right so so hidden behind this wall is a lion on top of this bed now ignorant of all of this Bella asks her cousin is the Murphy bed comfortable too which Anna replies yeah it's perfect for Lion on I think you see where I'm going here so dramatic irony we the audience on the other side of the screen are aware that this entire time there is a lion hi the Murphy bed we know this Ana and Bella do not Bala asks if the bed is comfortable Ana assures her that it is we know as the audience it is not there is a dangerous savannah predator in the bed that's dramatic irony situational irony when they pull that Murphy bed down and expose the lion they will see the difference between these expectations and this result and that is situational irony you thought one thing was true and now something very different has happened that's the difference between expectation and result beds don't usually have lines in them you expect them not to have lines in them you pull down the bed boom there's a lion in it situational irony finally it's perfect for Lion on now Ana does not realize this but she is unwittingly punning on the fact that there is a lion on the Murphy bed so this is verbal irony because in fact there is a lion lion on the bed so there you have it encapsulated in one ridiculous case here are all three basic examples of irony so situational irony dramatic irony and verbal irony you can learn anything David out