Irony The one form of humor that everyone thinks they understand, when actually no one really does. Truly, it is the cleverest joke ever played on mankind." The intended meaning is an inversion of the plain meaning. Pretty simple, really, but somehow a difficult concept for some to grasp.
Let's describe what irony is not, since that is where the confusion mainly comes from (and it's misused a lot).It is not a lie.It is not a joke.It is not a coincidence.It is not merely anything unexpected.It is not the same as sarcasm.It is not something Alanis Morissette understands. Or maybe she does?
Irony can overlap with those (with the possible exception of the last one), but just by themselves, they are not irony. This is where the confusion of the meaning of the word usually starts. People try to apply it where it doesn't belong.It enjoyed a renaissance in the '90s thanks to Postmodernism, which is a slightly different concept of irony.There are seven main situations where Irony belongs: Socratic, Verbal, Dramatic, Tragic, Situational, Cosmic, and Historical. If something does not fit in any of these, it is not irony.