All Ears English Podcast - 1912: Is It Ironic? How to Comment on Irony in English

This is an All Ears English podcast episode 1912. Is it ironic? How to comment on irony in English?

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What exactly is irony? How can you identify these situations and comment on them to build the connection with native speakers?

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Hey Lindsay, how are you? Hey Michelle? I am doing great. How are you? What’s going on today?

I’m good. I just feel like I need new solutions

I’m good. I just feel like I need new silverware because I don’t know what happened

I don’t know if things are going missing but I feel like I have like

10,000 spoons when all I need is a knife. Oh, that sounds like someone

Someone’s line whose line is that? I think it’s a Linus more said man. I love that song. I love it

I love that song something about it. It’s just fun to sing along to right? Yeah guys. We’re talking about the song ironic

This is a song from I don’t know 1990 something and like that was a great song. I had a great remember the music video

Oh, yeah

Yes, I remember it’s like in the car and she’s like all different people and like yeah guys Alanis Morissette ironic

That’s like a huge huge song. So, um, actually I for I should have mentioned this to you earlier

So one year for Halloween you were like my friend

No, but my friend and I we were just trying to think of like a really easy Halloween costume. Uh-huh, and

um, we both dressed in all black and I just like I

forget if I was the spoons or she was in night or if I was in the night, but I think

So like we like taped a sash of just like like a ton of plastic spoons

To me and then my friend or I may have been reverse had just like one plastic knife

And so we were just like walking around with spoons and a knife on our

Right, I love it. I love it and it’s true. It is ironic

You have all these things all these spoons, but when you need a knife, you need a knife spoons

Don’t really fit the bill right? They don’t really do what you needed to do to cut something. So that’s that’s somewhat ironic, right?


Exactly. So yeah, we’re gonna talk about some stuff that’s ironic today

But before we do guys remember to hit follow on the all ears English podcast because you never want to miss an episode

Oh, yes, do not miss all ears English guys four days a week

So Michelle, we have a question to inspire today’s episode from one of our awesome listeners from Mauritania

Can I go ahead and read the question? Go for it. Here we go. Hello guys. My name is Amdi Baca from Mauritania

It’s an Arabian country. You probably have heard this name for the first time because it’s not comical

Okay, I’m not sure exactly what she meant by that, but that’s okay. We’ll keep going here

I have a question. I always hear this word a lot life is ironic or oh my god, that’s ironic

I don’t know what it means. Can you explain in a native way? I’m elated and stoked to see its meaning nice nice

Oh, I love it. I think it is listeners picking up on some of our vocabulary from our different podcasts. I love that

Well, thank you for that question that is a good question and this is gonna be a fun one

So yeah guys, we’ve done a couple episodes where we’ve mentioned something being ironic or the word irony. So one is

1796 as it’s a sign astrology stop signs and signatures and what’s the other one Lindsay 18?

Sorry, 880 880 is six ways to be funny in English

So guys go check that out

If you’re on the website, you could get that on the website or you could get that in the iOS or Android app

Just type in those numbers

Mm-hmm. Absolutely guys. So the dictionary says to identify something that’s ironic

It’s something that’s happening in the opposite way to what is expected and typically causing wry amusement because of this

so it’s kind of like

So before the episode guys Lindsay and I were talking about, you know

The word ironic and it’s one of those things where it’s hard to think of an example of it

Mm-hmm, but it’s it’s one of those things that when it happens, it’s like kind of it’s almost kind of a cool feeling

It’s like oh, it’s ironic, right? Do you feel right? Yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s weird

It’s more than just something that’s strange or coincidental. It’s more than coincidental. I think yeah

Yeah, it’s ironic. It’s in again. Like you said, it’s easier to identify when it actually happens

We know we’re in we’re in that sweet spot of irony, right? Right, right, right

It just happens and it’s kind of amusing when I happen


So yeah, it’s basically like something’s kind of strange in some sort of coincidental way. Yes

So, I mean like here I tried to come up with a couple examples

So like one is and you tell me well, first of all, let’s talk about it

The ironic song haven’t you heard people kind of analyze it and they’re like, it’s not actually ironic. It’s just bad luck

Yeah, kind of I know sometimes I wonder about the rain on the wedding day thing, right? That’s not ironic

That’s just yeah, just kind of things. Yeah, unless like it had been mentioned somehow

In some other way before that there was more to the story. I think that’s just kind of not quite irony. Yeah

Right, exactly exactly so

That is kind of interesting. So let’s try and find some examples and talk about if it’s ironic

So, okay, I have it’s it’s ironic that Billy became a doctor because he has always been afraid of blood

Yeah, I think that’s closer to irony than rain on your wedding day. Right? Mm-hmm

Some people say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, you know, right, right exactly, right? That’s true

Yeah, um, or what’s another one? It was ironic that the fitness coaches ran into each other at a doughnut festival

Yeah, that’s just funny I love that I would go to a festival oh my gosh

That sounds like fun there was a Bloody Mary festival in town last weekend and I missed it I was so annoyed

I don’t like Bloody Mary’s

Yeah, I know. It’s one of those things where I well now that I’m talking about

Do you ever have something where you think that you don’t like it, but you’re always like well

Maybe I would like it if I tried it again

And do you like that’s one of those where I’ll like try it again

I’m like, wait, maybe I will like I want to give it a chance and then I’m like, nah

Yeah, I mean don’t get me wrong

I take the doughnut festival over a Bloody Mary festival any day, but you should try it again. You should try it again

I’ll try it again. I will I will

So yeah, it’s ironic because well, I mean, okay. So Lindsay, why is that ironic?


Typically fitness coaches you wouldn’t be likely to find them at a doughnut festival, right?

Because usually they’re talking about the importance of nutrition and health and probably not eating sugar, but they were both there

So that’s just kind of funny. All right, right


Right. It’s unexpected. It’s like a little twist. It’s just kind of a twist. Yeah, it’s just kind of like oh, that’s funny

Like right that kind of a feeling so guys

So, you know, we have ironic is the adjective and then we have irony is the noun

So there are like lots of different types of irony and a lot of like when we talk about irony

I feel like we’re also talking about like things like in plays in books, you know

You’re looking for examples of the irony like in high school. I feel like you have to find that. Yes. Oh

Like when we read Shakespeare or any any literature you always that yeah, right. All those assignments were always tricky. Yeah

Yeah, so there’s always some sort of irony different types of it and we could get more into it another time

But it’s very it’s kind of a lot of literature. But yeah, okay

So when we talk about it, let’s break it down to the different parts of speech that our listeners need right Michelle

So and in the adjective form, how do we talk about this word?

right, so you would say like

Wow, that’s ironic. Mm-hmm. So just ironic and then as a noun, it’s we know it’s right like

Yeah, exactly. Love it

Okay. All right, Michelle. So then how can we use ironic and irony in sentences? What do you think?

Right. So for ironic you might just say like, oh, wow, that’s ironic like how or how ironic you might say something like that

If like Lindsay like let’s say Lindsay

We are the fitness coaches and we’re at the donut festival run into each other

I might make a joke and say like Oh Lindsay, like like oh, it’s so funny running into you here. How ironic

Yeah, that would be a joke. Like that would be something that would make you laugh. That’s kind of funny. Exactly

Or here’s another example. There’s definitely some irony there, right? So in that case, we’re using the noun form. Mm-hmm

Or you might hear somebody say I can see the irony there. Mm-hmm, right?

So like if we’re at the festival and I said, oh like wow

Look at us running into each other at this donut festival

Like how ironic you might respond and you might say something like oh, yeah, I can see the irony there. Yeah, right

That’s a good way to support the speaker. We’ve done lots of episodes guys on how to support if someone’s telling a story or saying

Something funny you can say I can see the X there. I can see the humor there. I can see the irony there

I can see the the shock there, right? These are good skills to have guys really good stuff

Right, right, right or another

Way to use it is instead of ironic or irony you could say ironically blank, right?

So you could start off the sentence you could say ironically I hate wine, but wound up on a whole wine tour in, California

Yeah, that’s another good example. I love it. I love it. So good

Yeah, do you you like wine, right? Yeah sure beer drinker. No, no my trip to Argentina

We were definitely going to be going to some wineries because it’s famous Mendoza is famous for Malbec wine

So is Chile, but that’s my favorite wine

Yeah, that’s that’s yeah, that’s pretty much what they have as far as I know in Mendoza

So that’s where we’re gonna be is mostly at the wineries

So you like red wine more or white one? I like both Michelle

I like both it just depends on the type of white or red and it depends on what I’m eating the weather my mood

What I feel like nighttime daytime a lot of different things that you know that I decide based on so yes

Very sophisticated. Oh, well, thank you

I’m just like I like red wine. Okay, interesting interesting

Yeah, so do we have a role play to show our listeners how this might embed itself into a conversation? Let’s do it

Here we go. So Lindsay we are we actually ran into it where we’re running into each other on vacation in this role play

Have you ever run into somebody in big on vacation?

I don’t think so

But I’ve heard of it happening like I’ve heard of people from the States running into someone in Italy or something

Oh, wow, you know, yeah, we I remember I think it’s happened to me more than once but I specifically remember

When I was a kid, we were in San Francisco and one of like the administrators from my one of the schools

I went to

We were like in like some garden and all of a sudden we heard like, oh, it’s the Kaplan then it was her

Oh, that’s so funny. It can happen right and I love I love this first response right that we’re gonna share. Let’s let’s go through it

Let’s go through the role play and then we’ll make comments on the role play. Here we go. Oh my gosh. What are you doing here?

Wow, I can’t believe we ran into each other all the way across the country Lindsay. I know

Ironically, I was just talking about you because we stopped at the zoo and I know you love seeing tigers. Wow, that is ironic

We didn’t use irony there guys, but we’re not gonna use

Ironic. I love how I find it really interesting like sometimes how people’s language reflects

What’s going on in their head when they say what are you doing here? It’s more. Well, it’s like I’m sure the other person’s thinking

What are you doing here? You know what? I mean? It’s like why wouldn’t they be there? It’s funny. I don’t know. It’s just weird

Yeah, yeah, that’s like if you’re if you run into somebody and you’re surprised that’s something you could say guys you could say

What are you doing here?

Exactly. And then you said wow, I can’t believe we ran into each other all the way across the country and I said, I know

Ironically, I was just talking about you because we stopped at the zoo and I know you love seeing tigers

So that is pretty ironic, right? It’s not just the fact it’s not really the fact that we ran into each other

That’s the irony, right Michelle

What’s the actual irony here?

It’s that you were just thinking about hey

Mm-hmm, exactly like we could go into it. Like I feel like some people might say that’s not ironic

That’s just a coincidence, but ironic is kind of but you don’t have to like, you know debate

Intellectual debate right exactly. It’s just kind of like, you know, you could you could have said like oh like that’s funny

You’re like funny enough like, you know, but people just throw this in sometimes I think and then I said wow

That is ironic to support you. Yes. I love it. I love it. Yeah. I mean the point of all there’s English is connection

It’s not being intellectual

It’s not being nitpicking everything and making sure everything’s a hundred percent. Correct guys

We want you to connect with the person in front of you

So when you comment on something that to you feels ironic just go for it, right that adds to the connection

That’s the point Michelle. That’s the point of all there’s English

Absolutely. Absolutely. So wow, this was fun. This was a really good question. I think like

I it’s always fun to talk about things that are ironic and debated and disgusted but guys we talked about

You know, it can be a little bit tough to grasp sometimes and I don’t think that the Alanis Morissette doesn’t I even though?

I love the song. I don’t know that things are really ironic in that song. Yeah people people like to talk about that, too

But but when when you find something that’s ironic then you’ll know it. Yeah, it’s it’s the feeling you just think to yourself

Oh, wow, that’s weird, right? It’s kind of like weird when something has kind of a combination of funny and weird and coincidental

Right, that’s irony. And you know again if you come and you say oh something’s ironic and it’s not quite irony

Don’t worry about it. Okay

Focus on that connection have a laugh with the person in front of you and go on with your day. It’s okay

Right, right, right. Exactly. All right. Well Lindsay, this was fun. And yeah, we’ll go find things that are ironic

Yeah, we got it. All right, Michelle. I’ll see you in the next one. Have a good one. Bye Lindsay. Bye

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With my Freddy’s rewards

it’s easy to get lower than low prices for the win earn fuel points on every purchase and save up to a dollar a gallon at

The pump my Freddy’s rewards

All you do is win big big savings sign up now at Fred Meyer comm and start saving Fred Meyer fresh for everyone

Savings may vary by state fuel restrictions apply save more on natural and organic items. Just clip your digital coupons on our app

And use them up to five times in one transaction with your card Fred Meyer fresh for everyone

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