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without a hint of irony / with heavy irony Options
onsen
Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2021 5:24:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/2017
Posts: 1,043
Neurons: 9,929
Hello,

Quote:

irony noun
2 [uncountable] when you use words that are the opposite of what you really mean, often in order to be amusing
trace/hint/touch of irony
Wagner calls his program 'the worst talk show in America,' without a hint of irony.
heavy irony British English (=a lot of irony)
'Of course Michael won’t be late; you know how punctual he always is,' she said with heavy irony.
irony


A. Wagner calls his program 'the worst talk show in America,' without a hint of irony.

B. 'Of course Michael won’t be late; you know how punctual he always is,' she said with heavy irony.

Q1. What does the phrase 'without a hint of irony' in A mean?
Q2. About the phrase 'with heavy irony' in B, she thinks that he is always not punctual. Is my understanding correct?

My try (incomplete):
About the phrase 'without a hint of irony':
The 'out' in 'without' and the 'opposite' in the definition 2 cancel each other.
Then,
with a hint of what you really mean.
Or just (for simplicity):
with what you really mean.


Thank you.
thar
Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2021 7:02:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,218
Neurons: 98,094
A hint is a tiny bit.
If you say something directly you give it fully.
If you hint at something, you don't say it directly but you give them some assistance. Some help in understanding. Only a little bit - they have to do the rest of the work themselves.

So a hint of irony is a tiny bit.
You can have coffee with a hint of cinnamon. That means it is hardly there, but you can just taste it. A tiny bit.


Without a hint of irony, without even a tiny bit, means without any irony. None at all.
Completely straight-faced, not realising how ridiculous you sound saying that.

The opposite is with heavy irony.
You are being very ironic. You do not just hint a little bit, you make it obvious - you want your listener to know you are aware of how ridiculous it is, what you are saying.
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