English Literary Terms Help (1 Viewer)

Rugger

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I was testing a student who when asked to describe how a air conditioner and a refrigerator were alike, he said "To heat things up". I am pretty certain he did not say the opposite meaning on purpose, but after we both had a laugh, he continued to use the humor on other test items.

I am writing his report and I am trying to come up with the literary term that best describe the play on words...would it be irony?
 
I was testing a student who when asked to describe how a air conditioner and a refrigerator were alike, he said "To heat things up". I am pretty certain he did not say the opposite meaning on purpose, but after we both had a laugh, he continued to use the humor on other test items.

I am writing his report and I am trying to come up with the literary term that best describe the play on words...would it be irony?

If you're looking for a literary term, how about allusion?

When he repeatedly said similar things on other test items, he was alluding to his previous mistake.

That's the best I got. :)
 
It would be ironic if you have failed to notice his retardation. Joking aside I'd suggest it shows either boredom in your classes or a flipping of the bird to your authority. Lack of participation? Failure to comprehend? Give him zeros on incorrect answers - if you're not already - and see what his reaction is.
 
I'd call it accuracy. Yes, both appliances make an environment cooler. But at the expense of the surrounding environment. If you were to leave your fridge open, the temp in the fridge would rise, making the unit work, and raising the overall temp of the room. Air conditioners do the same thing, it's just that you're pumping the heat outside.

He was right.
 
It would be ironic if you have failed to notice his retardation. Joking aside I'd suggest it shows either boredom in your classes or a flipping of the bird to your authority. Lack of participation? Failure to comprehend? Give him zeros on incorrect answers - if you're not already - and see what his reaction is.


Actually I work with special education children. This was during an assessment to see if he qualified for additional services than the ones he is already receiving. I was writing his report and wanted to see if what he was doing actually fell into a literary term and I planned to use it in my report. I asked some of my colleagues and we could not point point one. I know some of the members here are authors and professors, so I figured someone may have an answer.
 
Actually, it would be irony if he intended some figurative or symbollic meaning to 'heating things up' rather than simply making a mistake. Irony is a device that operates when the intended meaning of stated words or actions are the opposite of their literal meaning.

In this case, the literal interpretation of air conditioning and refrigeration is to cool things down. In saying 'to heat things up' it conveys the opposite of the literal meaning. But to be irony, it has to be intentional and intended to convey some theme or message. It is a device that doesn't exist by accident - at least not in this context.

If he did intend to be ironic, it might be that you're dealing with some kind of savant.
 

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