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Figure of Speech

Irony Examples for Students and Children

Cheer up, the worst is yet to come! You get baffled a bit when you hear such a statement, don’t you? Yeah, as you may have already noticed, it implies just the opposite to what it actually states. People often use irony either to bring fun in the conversation or to explain something which is totally contrary. Irony is a rhetorical device or a literary technique, or even situation, which refers to a sharp disagreement or discordance that is expressed beyond the evident intention of words used. Irony can be verbal, where the person says something which is exactly opposite to what he/she really wanted to communicate, just like if you say, soft as concrete. Apart from this, it can also be dramatic where one of the characters is unaware of what is happening around, whereas the spectators know exactly what’s going on; this concept is often related to plays. Irony can be situational as well, if the actual result appears to be just opposite to what is really expected. Whatever be the grammatical aspect, ironies have become an integral part of regular communication. Let us look into some examples of ironies that can help you understand this concept better.

Examples For Irony 

Ironical Statements

  • One of the identical twins says to the other, “You’re ugly!”
  • I saw a fish drowning.
  • Many things can be preserved in alcohol. Dignity is not one of them.
  • Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.
  • Marriage is the leading cause of divorce
  • I have been down so long, it looks like up to me.

Coincidental Ironies

  • Britain’s biggest dog was named Tiny.
  • Two marriage therapists got divorced from each other.
  • Most tobacco company executives don’t smoke.
  • Titanic, which was touted as “100% unsinkable”, sank on its maiden voyage.
  • The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.
  • A ninety-eight year old man won the lottery and died the next day.
  • My friend, who is an incredibly successful artist and writer, often has dreams that are bland and dull.
  • A class on prophecy at a church was postponed due to some unforeseen circumstance
  • Do you know that fear for a long word is called Hippopotomonstrosesquippedalio phobia?
  • Hitler’s Grandmother was Jewish.
  • The only reason there are evil people in the world is because there are good people in the world.
  • A man died in his living room!
  • Canada is owned by Britain, yet half the people there speak French.
  • Coffee City is a city in Texas, mostly visited to buy beer.
  • My family owns a dairy, I work at a frozen yogurt shop and I just found out I’m lactose intolerant.
  • The world’s largest ice cream cone is made by a factory called ‘Tiny Dairies’!
  • The owner of a butcher shop is a vegetarian!
  • A restaurant called “Hard Times Cafe” has closed down because of the recession!
  • The water vendor died of thirst!
  • A restaurant with the name “Firewood Cafe” was actually on fire!
  • The dictionary entry for “short” is really, really long!
  • The only word that you spelled right in this spelling test is “illiterate”.
  • “Stand by your Man” is one of the biggest hit songs sung by Tammy Wynette’s who has been married six times in her real life.
  • Do you know that there is a song about the phobia of music?
  • The White House isn’t white.
  • I put on an outfit in the morning and didn’t like it, after spending an hour trying on other clothes, I ended up trying back on the same outfit I started with and wore it for the day.
  • A seminar on Global Warming was cancelled due to snow.
  • An obese teacher is teaching the class about healthy food or physical exercise!
  • A class on “planning and scheduling” was cancelled due to poor planning.
  • An atheist sues for religious discrimination

Situational Irony

  • Posting a video about how boring and useless Facebook is on Facebook.
  • My friend said he can’t go to church because he has a theology test to study for!
  • The firehouse burns down.
  • The police station was robbed.
  • The teacher failed the test.
  • The student who didn’t study passed the test.
  • The marriage counselor gets a divorce
  • “Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
  • A girl was going on about how she wouldn’t hurt animals when I noticed she was wearing a leather belt.
  • He is a pilot but, is afraid of heights.

Irony In Literature

  • “Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honorable man” – Julius Caesar.
  • Romeo returns to Verona and he finds Juliet drugged, in a death-like sleep. He assumes she is dead and kills himself. When Juliet wakes up and finds him dead, she kills herself with his knife – Romeo and Juliet.
  • Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451 is consistently on the top 100 list of banned books in the US.

Ironical News

  • Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, the self-styled “eternal revolutionary”, who took power in a coup 42 years ago, is himself being deposed in a revolution.
  • A Harvard University fellow, who was studying ethics, was charged with hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.

Being a part of speech used on a regular basis, ironies are familiar to many of us. Of course, we never look into whether the usage is correct or not, but it is always better to learn about the different kinds of ironies and their usages. It is very important as there are chances that sometimes you may even get confused with much similar concept of sarcasm. Though both irony and sarcasm appear to be overlapping, both of them are totally different concepts. Hope the examples given in this article helped you to understand the concept ‘irony’ better.

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