Children as Young as Four Can Understand Irony

A study in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology suggests that very young children can understand ironic language. From the abstract:

Children's responses to others' ironic utterances were coded for their understanding of meaning and conversational function. Mothers were especially likely to ask rhetorical questions and to use ironic language in conflictual contexts. In contrast, fathers used hyperbole and understatement as frequently as rhetorical questions, and employed ironic language in both positive and conflictual contexts. Children also showed evidence of a nascent ability to use ironic language, especially hyperbole and rhetorical questions. Family members used rhetorical questions and understatement proportionately more often in a negative interaction context.

Link | Journal Article (payment required) | Photo by Flickr user adpk used under Creative Commons license

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The love these people (my people!) have for their Doctor Who and their BSG and their Batman and their Futurama and their Star Trek and Star Wars and LOTR and Princess Bride and all of it, all of that love is far more real and productive and HUMAN than anything those WBC monsters have felt for ANYTHING. The people at Comic-Con are there to revel in the boundless wonders created by the HUMAN MIND. The Bible is a great work of creativity, too, but it's such a small representation of what our species is capable of.
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I could start my first car without keys. It was an older car (1955 Chevy) where the key slot stuck out. You could turn the key slot and start that baby up. No key needed.
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