Publication details [#4887]

Garmendia, Joana. 2010. Irony is critical. Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice 18 (2) : 397–421. 25 pp. URL
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


Irony is acknowledged to be usually critical: the ironic speaker tends to exhibit an apparent positive attitude in order to communicate a negative valuation. The reverse is considered to be also possible though: the ironic speaker can praise by apparent blaming, although it seldom happens. This unbalance between the two sorts of ironic examples is the so-called asymmetry issue of irony. Here I shall deny the possibility of being ironic without criticizing — hence the asymmetry issue is an illusion. By claiming that irony is always critical I suggest an even stronger claim: criticism is what distinguishes irony from the similar phenomenon of metaphor. (Joana Garmendia)