Neat People vs. Sloppy People: How does irony establish the playful tone?

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  • #4223


    In her piece “Neat People vs. Sloppy People”, Suzanne Britt establishes irony throughout her piece. She does this by criticizing “neat” people, and praising “sloppy” people, claiming, “They give loving attention to every detail.” However, she criticizes neat people by saying they “are bums and clods at heart.” This contrast in a seemingly obvious generalization establishes the irony of the piece by utilizing informal language to create a playful tone. Because her argument’s focus isn’t to persuade, but to entertain, Brit employs diction and imagery that allow the development of a playful tone. Additionally, the use of irony between neat and sloppy people, and the nonchalant manner in which they are described establishes a playful tone.

  • #4289


    Britt’s use of irony adds tremendously to the entertainment value of her essay, and the overall pseudo-analytical tone of the piece. She employs irony right in the beginning of the piece, by assigning characteristics (laziness, for example) normally reserved for sloppy people, to nice people, and vice versa. This creates a captivating opening to a mock-analysis essay, in which Britt will entertain the reader with an ironic arrangement of observations that appear to support her initial ironic statement. In the essay, Britt also states that sloppy people “give loving attention to every detail.” By connecting this and other actions to sloppy people, as opposed to neat people, Britt builds on an overall ironic and mock-analytical tone.

  • #4294


    I agree that Britt utilizes irony within her essay in a tremendous way. She uses irony to describe neat people as mean, nasty, wasteful, selfish beings while associating sloppy people as being kind and thoughtful. By creating this irony, the reader gets a deeper feeling of what the author is trying to convey by turning the tables. What she may be trying to convey is that it is dumb to stereotype other people for their behaviors because people see their own actions in different ways. I inferred this by analyzing her mock-analytical tone. Does anyone else have a similar opinion?

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