glevy at glevy at
Thu Jul 13 08:17:07 MDT 1995

Lous P. wrote:
> IRONY: 1. a method of humorous or sarcastic expression in which the
> intended meaning of the words is used in the direct opposite of their
> usual sense: as, the speaker was using *irony* when he said the stupid
> plan was "very clever." 2. an instance of this. 3. a combination of
> circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what might be expected
> or considered appropriate: as, it was an *irony* of fate that the
> fireboat burned and sank. 4. the feigning of ignorance in argument; more
> frequently Socratic irony (after Socrates, who used this device in
> Plato's Republic).
> Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, p.773
Yes, but the problem is that it is sometimes difficult to know when
someone is making an ironic and/or sarcastic comment on the Net.

It is much easier to have a sense for a person's meaning when we
engage each other in direct person-to-person communications.  It also
helps if we know something of the style, sense of humor and personality
of the individual making the remarks.  This is very difficult on a
largeish list such as ours where we don't know most of the individuals who
are writing posts.

I can only suggest that when people write their posts, they give
consideration to how those posts are going to be interpreted by others on
the list so as not to generate unnecessary confusion.


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