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Isn´t it ironic? - comical irony in Ellen and The Nanny
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

”The Beatles are more popular than Jesus”. This was an ironic remark made by Lennon in the sixties which caused a big uproar amongst people who took the words literally and who did not understand the irony. Irony is an indirect form of language use which is used mainly for its ability to criticize in a face-saving way and even more for its comical effect. The use of irony is prominent in our popular sitcoms and it is also used to a great extent among friends and others in real life. In spite of the fact that irony is used by most people in one way or another, it is not a universal phenomenon. As for humor in general, irony is a question of personal opinion and we do not always laugh at and appreciate the same things. As the example above shows, irony can just as well be misunderstood as understood. My intention with this paper has been to look deeper into the world of irony and to explain the workings and effects of comical irony used in the American sitcoms Ellen and The Nanny. In the latter I concentrated on the British characters, to examine if possible cultural variation could be found in the way irony was used, due to the way the American scriptwriters portray the British characters. Since humor is connected to the two senses hearing and sight, the context of situation has also been studied in order to find out whether behavioral cues play a significant role in the expression of comical irony.

Abstract [en]

”The Beatles are more popular than Jesus”. This was an ironic remark made by Lennon in the sixties which caused a big uproar amongst people who took the words literally and who did not understand the irony. Irony is an indirect form of language use which is used mainly for its ability to criticize in a face-saving way and even more for its comical effect. The use of irony is prominent in our popular sitcoms and it is also used to a great extent among friends and others in real life. In spite of the fact that irony is used by most people in one way or another, it is not a universal phenomenon. As for humor in general, irony is a question of personal opinion and we do not always laugh at and appreciate the same things. As the example above shows, irony can just as well be misunderstood as understood. My intention with this paper has been to look deeper into the world of irony and to explain the workings and effects of comical irony used in the American sitcoms Ellen and The Nanny. In the latter I concentrated on the British characters, to examine if possible cultural variation could be found in the way irony was used, due to the way the American scriptwriters portray the British characters. Since humor is connected to the two senses hearing and sight, the context of situation has also been studied in order to find out whether behavioral cues play a significant role in the expression of comical irony.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 26 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53644Local ID: ENG C-11OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53644DiVA: diva2:1102204
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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