Saturday, December 10, 2016

Irony, which dates back to the ancient works of Plato, is often used as a comedic, rhetorical, or literary device. It refers to words being used to convey something different from their literal meaning or an event’s outcome being different from the expected results. It is a common literary technique that is frequently used in theatre and books. Some of Shakespeare’s works also feature irony. In order to understand irony as it is used in speech and writing, it is important to know the incongruity between actions and their meaning and words and their meaning. The three kinds of irony most commonly used are: dramatic irony, situational irony, and verbal irony. Writers and readers who understand these different types of irony are able to identify them and use them easily.

Dramatic Irony

This type of irony, also called tragic irony, is very common in plays. It is also frequently used by writers to keep readers captivated by creating incongruity between the action that will unfold and the character’s present situation. In dramatic irony, a character in a play doesn’t know that his words or actions reveal the play’s real situation. Often, the spectators know more than the characters in the play. When used as a literary tool, it gives the reader a superior position and encourages his hopes, fears, and curiosity regarding when and if the characters will discover the truth about the situations and events in the story. Dramatic irony is best portrayed in “Oedipus Rex” where the audience already knows that Oedipus has murdered his father and married his mother. Oedipus, unaware of this, condemns himself to death without knowing that he is the main cause of the problems in his kingdom. He confidently tells his brother-in-law that someone who has committed such gravely sins and still expects mercy from the gods is simply foolish. Both the audience and reader understand the entire situation better than he does. Another example of dramatic irony is displayed in Shakespeare’s play “Merchant of Venice” where the audience is aware that Lancelot is deceiving his father, that Nerissa and Portia are actually Balthazar and his clerk, and that Jessica dresses as a boy.

Situational Irony

In situational irony, events come together in a surprising and unexpected way. In this case, the outcome is inconsistent with what is expected. Situational irony is also called irony of events and is generally viewed as a situation with sharp contrasts and contradictions. In literature, situational irony builds up tension in a story. Writers frequently use it in literature as it is subtle and builds upon a story’s events as compared to a single ironic sentence. An example of situational irony is a man who steps away from a water hose because he doesn’t want to get wet then ends up falling in a swimming pool. Another example is that of a traffic policeman who gets his license suspended because of unpaid parking tickets.

Verbal Irony

This type of irony is closely connected to sarcasm. It is the most widely used form of irony. In its simplest form, it involves two people having a conversation unlike other forms of irony which require a “third” party to interpret the ironic situations. In verbal irony, a person speaks words meant to express the opposite of what he’s saying. Verbal irony is very easy to incorporate into different forms of writing. For it to be most effective, timing is everything. If it comes too late or too early in a conversation, is spoken in an inappropriate circumstance, or is not accompanied by the correct tone, it can be considered offensive or confusing. An example of verbal irony is a person who mistakenly steps in a big puddle of water while walking with his friend. His friend seeing this, smiles and helps him out saying, “You must be the luckiest person in the world.” This comment will be seen as ironic and funny by both people and the two friends will probably laugh the mishap off. Verbal irony requires an understanding of timing, attitude, and circumstance.

Irony, in its many forms, is commonly used in literature, science, history, nature, and life. It helps audiences to recognize meanings without simply making assumptions. The three kinds of irony are excellent tools for illustrating points better. They give readers the ability to think and help audiences in a play to understand the deeper meaning of the play. And contrary to what some song writers might have you believe, rain on your wedding day is in no way ironic.

This post was written by a guy who is obsessed with irony. So obsessed, in fact, that he’s started a few websites about it including the website linked to above.

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Although the different kinds of sentences are frequently taught in schools, many people learn how to master the art of writing or oration without giving them much thought. They pick up on sentence structure through their interactions with others. However, learning about the various sentence types through study offers several benefits. It can enhance writing ability, skill in argument, and help to uncover the deeper meaning of text, enhancing the success of those well-versed in English grammar. Read on to get this beneficial knowledge for yourself. All types of writing use these sentences, so it’s important to understand them fully.

Simple Sentences Say Much

Many people can gather what a simple sentence is without need of an explanation. Simple sentences are one of the most basic types that there is. This is the structure commonly used by younger children. They make a statement and express a complete thought through having a subject and a verb. For example, “Mary dances funnily” where Mary is the subject and dances is the verb.

Compound Sentences Offer More

Compound sentences can be considered the next step up from the simple type. They are an efficient means of relaying information by cancelling out repetitiveness. An example of a simple sentence would be “Mary dances funnily and fast”. This saves on words by combining two ideas because the information would otherwise be expressed as “Mary dances funnily. She dances fast”. Using a compound sentence, the verb “dances” does not have to be stated twice.

Complex Sentences Carry the Load

When there is even more information to be shared, complex sentences can prove very helpful, allowing information to be given faster. These sentences feature an independent clause in the same line with one dependent clause or more. The sentence, “Mary dances funnily, although she was professionally trained”, is categorized as complex. In this sentence, “Mary dances funnily” is the independent clause and “although she was professionally trained” is the dependent clause.

Complex-Compound Sentences Say a Lot

Up from complex sentences are those that are complex-compound. These sentences pull together two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. If, for example, there were two independent clauses such as, “Mary dances funnily” and “She doesn’t care what others think”, along with the dependent, “although people laugh out loud”, all of this could be combined to make the complex-compound sentence, “Mary dances funnily and doesn’t care what others think, although they laugh out loud”.

Right Branching Sentences Say It All

One of the different kinds of sentences that are more difficult to grasp for some is the right branching sentence. This sentence is the secret weapon of many highly skilled writers. Some of the best writers are highly praised simply because of the lengthy right-winged sentences they can create. They allow the author to fill up a page with interesting content, often for meeting a word count requirement, while avoiding fluff. These sentences start off with an independent clause and then pile up on the modifiers, enhancing the description and increasing information given. An example of a right branching sentence is, “Mary dances funnily in the studio where she was professionally trained by a 99-year old woman whose grandchildren like to laugh out loud while watching funny dancers”. It is very easy to get a lot of words in when using sentences such as this.

Left Branching Sentence Turn It Around

The left branching sentence is another type of sentence that shows off skill. While it increases the lexicon reading level of text, it can help make telling a story more interesting. This is because readers are left in suspense until they get to the end of the sentence. The left branching sentence allows writers to accomplish this simply by putting the modifier first. An example of a left branching sentence is, “While being laughed at by little children, Mary danced funnily”. This is another type of sentence that can easily reach to great lengths.

Reviewing the Other Types of Sentences

No discussion about the different kinds of sentences would be complete without covering the kinds of sentences that are categorized by what they express instead of how they are structured. For example, declarative sentences make a statement. The example, “Mary dances funnily”, is declarative. Imperative sentences state commands, such as, “Stop dancing”. Questions, like, “Why are you dancing?” are considered interrogative sentences. Finally, there are exclamatory sentences, such as. “Your dancing is funny!”. Learn to use the different kinds of sentences to be a better writer, speaker, and examiner of facts.

If you still need a bit of clarification about the 4 types of sentences, try that link to an article on TypesList.com. And for more about writing in general, try the article on the types of writing styles.

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The very thought of writing often terrifies people. Why? One reason is the misconception writing takes talent. Quite the contrary, writing is a skill, and one can improve and hone skills. The desire to learn and a few tips can help anyone make their written online content look professional.

Short and Strong

Bigger is not always better. In truth, a short sentence is stronger than a long one. All one needs to create a complete sentence is a subject and a verb. Clear and concise is the motto.

Avoid the Unnecessary

Unnecessary words are unnecessary distractions. Extra words take away from the point of the sentence. For example, “He knew he was right,” is direct and powerful. “He knew that he was right,” is wordy and pointless.

Single Idea Paragraphs

Jumping from idea to idea in a paragraph is likely to jump a reader right off the page. The purpose of a paragraph is to focus on a single idea. When one shifts to a new idea one should shift to a new paragraph.

Active versus Passive

Write in an active voice to keep attention active. A passive voice resembling “I will be writing,” or “I am writing,” is weak and vague. An active voice like “I write,” is powerful and draws attention.

Write versus Writ-ing

Adding “-ing” does not add zing to writing. A noun with “-ing,” is perfectly acceptable. A verb with “-ing” leads to weak, passive sentences. Sometimes “-ing” is necessary, but when avoidable void “-ing.”

Read Out Loud

As embarrassing as reading out loud may seem, reading what one wrote helps a writer to “hear” how everything sounds. This improves the flow of sentences, sentence and paragraph transition and grammar. Not to mention, writers catch quite a few mistakes this way.

Edit Friends

People who are too close cannot see the details. Writers become protective over what they write and blind themselves to mistakes and rough edges. A fresh perspective from a friend brings misspelled words, grammatical errors, passive voices and rough edges into the light.

Walk Away

Writer’s block is as common as the everyday cold and as frustrating. Walk away. Writers who try to force their way past the block tend to make the problem worse and produce poorly written material. Take time to relax, find a distraction, and focus on something else. Relieve the pressure and the dammed up words will flow.

Writing is a great tool to have. Make sure that you take the time to cultivate this useful skill. Once you do, you will learn that there is nothing that you can’t write about. If you are thinking about entering the world of online marketing, if you are able to write, you can make good money.

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