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Great weather we're having!
Awesome job!
You're a tremendous athlete!
Compliments, right?
Well, maybe.
Depending on the attitude
and tone of voice behind these lines,
they very well may be compliments.
They may also be, though,
pointed and attacking lines.
This slight change of attitude behind the lines
reveals what we call verbal irony.
So when someone says, "Great weather we're having,"
it is quite possible that the person really means that
if the sun is shining,
the birds are singing,
and the wind is calm.
But if the weather is horrible,
the clouds are looming,
and the wind is a raging tempest,
and someone says, "Great weather we're having,"
he probably doesn't actually mean that.
He probably means that the weather is horrible,
but he has said the opposite.
This is verbal irony
when the speaker says the opposite of what he means.
I know what you're thinking.
Isn't this sarcasm,
isn't the speaker being sarcastic?
When a speaker says the opposite of what he means,
that is verbal irony.
When a speaker then goes the step farther
to mean the opposite of what he says
and seeks to be a little pointed and mean,
like he's making fun of something,
then you have sarcasm.
Take the second example:
"Awesome job!"
Someone accomplishing his life-long dream:
Someone winning a sports championship:
Someone rear-ends another car:
not awesome.
So when the passenger says, "Awesome job!"
they probably mean the opposite
with a hint of poking fun.
That is verbal irony and that is sarcastic.
"You're a talented athlete," said to an Olympian:
authentic, no verbal irony present.
Said to the klutzy kid tripping into English class
and spilling his books and pencil case all over the room,
now that is just harsh and verbally ironic
because what you said is not what you meant.
That is verbal irony.
You have said the opposite of what you mean.
Additionally, since you have the intention
of mocking this poor person,
you have not only been verbally ironic,
but sarcastic as well.
Beware, though.
While all sarcasm fits the definition of verbal irony,
not all verbal irony is sarcastic.
Verbal irony is where what is meant
is the opposite of what is said,
while sarcasm adds that little punch of attitude.
There are times, though,
where another layer of meaning can be present
without that sarcastic tone.
Alright, now go out there
and find those examples of verbal irony and sarcasm.
Good luck!
No, seriously, I mean it, good luck.
No, no, really,
I truly want to wish you luck on this difficult task.
Ok, ok, sincerely good luck.
You can do it!
No verbal irony here.



【TED-Ed】情境式諷刺:與你預期的相反 What is verbal irony? - Christopher Warner

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