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Driving safety cartoon from Derf's 'The City'

Natural selection? In this instance, yes. However, all too often one of the vehicles involved in a collision is not driven by an idiot with a death wish as is the case with the criminal driver.

Cartoon irony.

Irony is more like when your cup of coffee is starting to get cold so you pour it out to get another hot cup from the coffee pot, only to find that the coffee in the pot was colder than the coffee you poured out.

Irony is when Charles Dreyfus attempts to kill Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther only to save his life by killing someone who was about to kill Inspector Clouseau.

Irony is when your words are the opposite of your meaning, such as ‘Brilliant deduction Sherlock.’ Or Anatole France’s ‘Bluebeard’, told sympathetically from the point of view that Bluebeard was merely unfortunate that all of his wives died young. People who want to think of themselves as sophisticated enough to use irony but don’t understand what it means have misappropriated it. My use here suggests that Derf used ironic hyperbole to give the reader the pleasure of imagining that 2 such people would collide with each other.

‘Cartoon justice’ would have been funnier, but I responded before I thought.

THAT’S never happened on here before…:wink::wink:

I believe what you are describing here is known as “sarcasm”.
And what happened in that cartoon is “poetic justice”.

Irony is like that incident that happened in NYC where a man committed suicide after lighting his house ablaze so his divorcing wife would be denied getting half of the value of his home. It turned out that because his home was a protected historical landmark, destroying that home actually INCREASED the value of the property that went to his wife because buyers were now free to develop the property.

Sarcasm is often irony, deployed to disparage. Irony isn’t always used to disparage; literarily it’s used to emphasize usually. In the case of France’s ‘Bluebeard’ it was humor.

Cartoon justice would have been an allusion to poetic justice, poetic justice being high-falutin’ for a Derf cartoon.

I hope this was the first time.

Is this irony?

or this?

How about this.


The first is irony: the author wrote the opposite of what he was doing. The other 2 are irony only if someone shot up a blank sign then wrote that message on it, the other if someone set fire to a blank van then painted it up as a fire extinguisher vendor’s truck. Irony requires intent.

The Wikipedia page on irony begins with traditional definitions of literary irony but includes the many other varieties that people have added to it, including ‘cosmic irony’, to which these last 2 would seem to belong. I was describing my use of irony, which follows the literary model such as Eric Partridge and the Fowlers describe. Of course I don’t own the word.

Is ‘Works like a charm!’ irony? Whenever I’m working on something with a friend and a maneuver doesn’t work, I’ll comment, ‘Works like a charm!’, as my experience with charms is that they don’t. Do charms work for all the people who use that phrase when they use it to describe something that does work? Or are they ironizing?

Is it irony that a discussion about Driving safety cartoon from Derf’s ‘The City’ by RandomTroll turns out to be a discussion that 's not about driving or a cartoon, not about safety, and isn’t random, but entirely specific and dealing only with irony? :thinking:

Or is there a better adjective to describe that? :wink:

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You questioned the applicability of a cartoon in which 2 transgressors ran into each other rather than the more realistic outcome that they would hit innocents instead. I pointed out that it was a cartoon, may have used irony to make a point. More likely it was a fantasy of justice.

That’s not exactly the one I had in mind. :laughing:

Does irony have to be intentional as in a story? Can’t we find irony in everyday events?
Like, when gas shot up to over four dollars a gallon, I started to find it ironic that my 100 hp motorcycle that got only 35-40 mpg, rather than being the ultimate motorcycle, instead missed the whole point of a motorcycle, an economical alternative to a car.

Or, is it really a luxury car if you have to work like a slave to pay for it?

If robots and automation has made us more productive than ever, why do we seem to be working harder than ever? Shouldn’t we have introduced the 30 hour work week by now?

Some might consider the “Nothing is carved in stone” photograph a pictorial paradox.

Since “carved in stone” is an idiom, i.e., usually not to be take literally; I would call it a pictorial pun (play on words).


I appreciate everyone’s efforts to encourage proper use of irony, but could you please bring this back on topic somehow? Thanks.

A few years back, there was a Chevy Suburban going down I 35 passing everybody, probably going 90 mph or so, tailgating and weaving from one lane to another to pass people ahead of him. This vehicle had every “save the earth” bumper sticker imaginable plastered all over the back of it.
I found that very ironic.
Or maybe he just jumped on the green bandwagon without being clear on the concept.

If you had one in mind, you could have told us. Note that asking a question when you don’t want an answer is ironic.

Yes, literary irony, as defined by, for example, Partridge and Fowler.

Not literary irony. You can find irony in your steam iron too, if you define the word broadly enough. I object to so-called cosmic irony because it relies upon the tacit premise that the cosmos has an intent.

It’s a luxury for the car.

Lots of things have made us more productive than before. We’ve chosen to have more stuff and services (especially medical care) instead. John Maynard Keynes, in 1930, wrote Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, in which he predicted that we would work 15-hour weeks not because we needed to, but because we had to gratify atavistic impulses (our ‘old Adam’) If we wanted to live as well as our ancestors did in 1930 we would need to work only 15 hours/week now.

The humor is more important than the irony; the same is true of the Derf cartoon, but the irony is still there.

Thank you!

I find it ironic that as you make cars faster and faster, you get to a point where driving no longer beats walking.
Let me explain this. In the time it takes you to earn the money it takes to make a quarter mile run in a top fuel car, you could easily have walked many hundreds of miles.

I also find it ironic that the majority of today’s motorcycles miss the whole point of a motorcycle, being an economical alternative to a car. My car gets better gas mileage than some of those rigs, but then, nobody ever bought a Honda Goldwing because he couldn’t afford a Honda Civic.