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irony vs. sarcasm Options
kauserali
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 7:26:03 AM
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Can both these words be used interchangeably? Like if someone says something and intends something different or just the opposite, can it be said that it was an irony or a sarcastic statement?
Are these two words synonyms?
valenarwen
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:15:25 AM
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I think they are similar. The one difference is that sarcasm is intended to hurt or mock while irony isn't
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 9:00:58 AM

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There is an excellent example of sarcasm in this thread, AK vs M16, in the post by Romany dated, Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:52:41 PM.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 8:37:51 PM
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Although the two terms often are used interchangeably the difference lies in the fact that irony can refer to situations.This is because irony - first used as a drmatic device in Greek theatre - is used to describe a situation where what ends up happening is completely different to what is expected to happen. Thus, Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic?" describes rain on one's wedding day, a chap who was afraid to fly being in a plane which crashes on his first flight, a free ride being announced after one has already paid. These events can't be described as being "sarcastic", the only word that fits is "ironic". Does this make sense?
Winston Smith
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 10:23:22 PM
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the difference between 'sarcastic' and 'ironic' is easy, the hard one is between 'sardonic' and 'sarcastic'
kauserali
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 6:13:54 AM
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Romany wrote:
Although the two terms often are used interchangeably the difference lies in the fact that irony can refer to situations.This is because irony - first used as a drmatic device in Greek theatre - is used to describe a situation where what ends up happening is completely different to what is expected to happen. Thus, Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic?" describes rain on one's wedding day, a chap who was afraid to fly being in a plane which crashes on his first flight, a free ride being announced after one has already paid. These events can't be described as being "sarcastic", the only word that fits is "ironic". Does this make sense?


Thanks!
frasha4ever
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 10:02:30 AM
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yea i think Romany explained it perfectly well..
RubyMoon
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 10:37:26 AM
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One of the most famous (or well noted, at least) examples of irony is the chapter in David Copperfield by Dickens entitled I Have A Memorable Birthday. It sounds like David will finally get a break from his troubles and have a pleasant day... he doesn't; it is a disaster.
Audrey Ann
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 4:11:35 PM
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Winston Smith wrote:
the difference between 'sarcastic' and 'ironic' is easy, the hard one is between 'sardonic' and 'sarcastic'


I am surprised no one has jumped on this one. It is difficult to understand the subtle differences. So out of curiosity I did a bit of research on the web and came up with the following:

Example of sardonic:
When Lord Holland was dying he knew that the necrophile, George Selwyn, was likely to call on him. He said to his servant: if Mr. Selwyn calls, show him up. If I'm alive, I'll be pleased to see him; if I'm dead, he'll be pleased to see me.

Sarcasm is more general and can be many things - an expression of suppressed anger/annoyance, a nose-in-the air attitude but not exclusively, though - funny, acidic, dry - and like the above example, depends on dialogue.

26letters
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 6:10:43 PM
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Sometimes irony can be seen in unlikely coincidences - or the "perfect storm of Murphy's Law" It usually results in a negative surprise and an exclaimation of, "Unbelievable!"

For example: You're feeling unsure of yourself attending a party, so you wear a dress that will give an impression of confidence - only to find that Angelina Jolie has attended the same party, wearing the same dress. Now that's ironic. (And in my mind, highly unlikely - so I don't have to worry.)
Audrey Ann
Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 7:21:38 PM
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26letters wrote:
Sometimes irony can be seen in unlikely coincidences - or the "perfect storm of Murphy's Law" It usually results in a negative surprise and an exclaimation of, "Unbelievable!"

For example: You're feeling unsure of yourself attending a party, so you wear a dress that will give an impression of confidence - only to find that Angelina Jolie has attended the same party, wearing the same dress. Now that's ironic. (And in my mind, highly unlikely - so I don't have to worry.)


Angel And I don't think I have to worry either! LOL I liked the example!
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2009 7:41:46 AM
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My understanding:

sarcasm is an off-spring of cynicism.Irony is a non-intuitive phenomenon.Examples abound to clarify these two terms but comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.
risadr
Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2009 3:16:41 PM
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Romany wrote:
Although the two terms often are used interchangeably the difference lies in the fact that irony can refer to situations.This is because irony - first used as a drmatic device in Greek theatre - is used to describe a situation where what ends up happening is completely different to what is expected to happen. Thus, Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic?" describes rain on one's wedding day, a chap who was afraid to fly being in a plane which crashes on his first flight, a free ride being announced after one has already paid. These events can't be described as being "sarcastic", the only word that fits is "ironic". Does this make sense?


In the truest definition of "irony," there is absolutely nothing ironic about any of the events described in Alanis' song.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 5, 2009 8:53:25 PM
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Risadr - that's an interesting statement. What do you see as the truest definition of irony?
AccidentalPolyglot
Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:23:47 AM
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I'm sorry, but there is a lot of misinformation in this thread. Irony and sarcasm are in no way synonymous. Sarcasm is bitter, cutting speech. Often irony is employed in sarcastic speech, but that speech is still sarcasm.

Irony, on the other hand, is speech or circumstance where something is other than what is believed or expected or normal. My sister told me that once the firemen of her town left potatoes cooking when they answered a call. The fire to which they responded was quickly extinguished, but as they were returning to the station, they received another call from the dispatcher. Their own firehouse was ablaze! Had it been the police station or an ordinary home or some shop, there would have been nothing out of the ordinary. But to have their own station burn was true irony.

The chief that department is a friend of my sister. I'm sure she (and many others) gave him some good-natured kidding about what happened. Had she laughingly said something like "Great practice exercise you planned for your department!" she would have been using irony. Had she cruelly said "Nice going, Bozo! You idiots can't even cook a pan of potatoes without burning down half the town!" that would have been an example of sarcasm. Yes, she would have still been using irony, but the overriding characterization of her speech would have been the sarcasm.

Romany's hilarious statement on the AK47 vs M16 thread, as referenced by Epiphileon, is full of irony; and it is her clever use of irony that makes the post so funny. But there is nothing biting or cutting or bitter about it; it is NOT sarcasm.

I haven't heard Alanis Morissete's song, "Isn't It Ironic?" but I'm curious about the part involving rain on her wedding day. While rain on one's wedding day might be very disappointing, it isn't really that ironic in itself. But if after an eight-month drought, the clouds suddenly open up on one's wedding day, that would definitely be ironic!

LeadPal
Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009 6:39:56 PM
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Isn't it ironic that a song entitled "Isn't it Ironic?" would contain no actual irony?
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