Humor and Irony, Elusive Terms

In my own classroom, we often struggle with clarifying what constitutes humor in writing, how it is to be handled critically and how to write successfully about it. One (of many) complementary problems is being sure what we mean by irony.   These terms have long been a problem in the history of criticism and separating what is comic in a classical sense, what is ironic, what is funny  gives all of us problems with precision. To help my students, I created ...

Writing about humor and irony

For years scholars have puzzled over precise definitions and descriptions of humor and irony.  If you're planning to do a presentation on either of these, or write an essay about them in a literary work, you may find this power point helpful in sorting out your definitions--and we all know that without some clear definitions--or as clear as possible--what you say is not likely to be very successful. Very often students designate things as 'irony' or 'ironical' that are simply ...