Sarcasm and irony are literary tricks that make the text richer and help to grab a reader’s attention. These tools are most often used to emphasize the absurdity of a situation or another person’s words or show the speaker’s irritation and surprise. This paper uses Allyson Chiu’s article on Trump’s proposal to postpone the election as an example of using irony and sarcasm in journalism to demonstrate his irrelevance of the politician’s words and criticize his decision.
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The author of this article uses many quotes from famous people that are full of sarcasm or irony to convey their irritation and emphasize the absurdity of Donald Trump’s actions. However, Chiu avoids ironic remarks in her explanations to balance the text and convey the message. Chiu (2020) discusses Donald Trump’s recent proposal to postpone the presidential election as people will vote via email that threatens by results falsification. Most politicians and famous people criticize Trump’s desire and ridicule his manner of putting forward the proposal. For example, the Comedy Central host tells viewers, “‘Guys, I don’t want to overreact, but I’m starting to worry that Trump’s not going to make America great again’” (Chiu, 2020, para. 2.). These words are ironic and mocking because the host demonstrates his dislike for Trump and does not worry about his successful political career or winning the upcoming elections.
The text has many jokes, which are partially or wholly based on irony. For example, Chiu (2020) cites Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, who mocks and exaggerates the president’s proposition. He says, “‘You know what’s really unfair? That there are two political parties. Why are there two political parties? Let’s just have one. Then, you don’t have to worry about making all these decisions anymore ‘” (Chiu, 2020, para. 23). These words also clearly reflect the irony that underlines the absurdity of the decision to postpone the election indefinitely and extend the term of Trump’s presidency.
Examples of sarcasm in this article are the words of Seth Meyers, the American comedian, who makes fun of Trump’s too informal tweet in which he suggests rescheduling the election data. He says, “‘Oh great, so not only is he casually suggesting incinerating American democracy, he’s doing it like he’s offering hors d’ oeuvres at a party’” (Chiu, 2020, para. 10). The phrase “Oh great” may seem approving, but even without context, all readers understand that the comedian, on the contrary, is outraged by the behavior of the politician. At the same time, the author of the article refrains from commenting or expressing her own opinion and replaces them with jokes and ironic statements of famous people. Consequently, this combination balances the text and does not allows it to turn into a series of critical jokes and comments.
Therefore, the author of the article adds only objective comments and does not express her own opinion about the situation. However, the many ironic and sarcastic statements of famous people and their jokes demonstrate that this article was created to criticize Trump’s decision. In this text, irony and sarcasm have an obvious meaning and are intended to show the outrage of people from whom they come. However, these tools are appropriate in this context, make readers engage in reading, and give weight to words because of the popularity of the people quoted.
Chiu, A. (2020). ‘Basically the move of a dictator’: Late-night hosts decry Trump’s suggestion to delay election. The Washington Post. Web.