Irony is Not Dead: It’s Was Just Put on Hold

Irony has many definitions covering a very broad range of aspects. Specifically the type of irony referred to by Graydon Carter seven days after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 is verbal irony stated “I think it’s the end of the Age of Irony.” I disagree with this comment because irony itself is woven into the American society, and however it may have felt like irony had completely disappeared from the culture it was merely put on hold for a little while.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the uses of verbal irony went down across the nation as people were dealing with the crises of loved ones and the overall shock of the attacks. This lull was only as if the irony was put on hold until the comic relief could become useful in the healing of the country and its citizens. Verbal irony is the best indicator of how irony was delayed. Evidence of the delay was introduced by a spokesman from the TV show, The Daily Show, “When you’re talking about a show that is a news parody and the news is so consumed about this tragedy, what’s funny about what’s unfolding here? Nothing,” 1 . Even comic writers who make the living off of irony and playing a twist on the news of the world weren’t able to spin anything off of these attacks. The Daily Show, however, is still on air, and is still releasing new episodes daily throughout the week using verbal irony in almost every second possible of the show.

Saying irony has died because of the September 11th tragedy is a very drastic opinion, given the circumstances its meaning is plausible but not a real world outlook. Irony only took at most a break from the social media and a majority of the citizens because it was moral and after a traumatic event even Tony Fox, a Comedy Central spokesman, stated on September 17, 2001, “Irony is dead for the moment” 1 . The keyword in Tony’s statement is moment. Verbal irony on talk shows and other Medias picked up after the world had moved on and the comics were then able to talk of other things and bring back the irony the American society was built on.

The claims made around the time of September 11th should be taken with consideration. The consideration should consist of the time period, the grieving souls of America, and the response to a tragedy in American history. Saying that irony died that day was definitely false not only because verbal irony is alive and kicking in everybody’s daily lives today, but also because the American society has irony pretty much founded into its DNA. Something as broad as irony will always be a part of human nature. The strength of irony in everyday lives may fluctuate day to day but it will never completely die… It will only be put on hold.

1 Randall, Eric. “The ‘Death of Irony,’ and its Many Reincarnations.” The Atlantic Wire. Sep 9, 2011. <;

About brettsteff

Attending Trinity University as a freshman.
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