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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?

  • Yes.

  • 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:

  • awesome!

  • Someone winning a sports championship:

  • awesome!

  • 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.

Great weather we're having!


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B2 中上級

TED-ED】言葉による皮肉とは何か?- クリストファー・ワーナー (【TED-Ed】What is verbal irony? - Christopher Warner)

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    VoiceTube に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日