Socratic Irony

Posted: March 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Amusing | No Comments »

I came across an amusing example of Socratic Irony in an old version of Wikipedia.

In his character of Ali G, Sacha Baron Cohen uses Socratic irony to satirical effect. For instance, in one sketch he interviews a professor from the National Poison Information Center about recreational drug use. Ali’s pretended stupidity in the form of asking questions like, “Does Class A drugs absolutely guarantee that they is better quality?” elicits a response that makes drugs look like any other consumer article.


Now Wikipedia uses Columbo as an example, instead. Did they make the change because Columbo is less-controversial than Ali G? The previous version of the article also used Stephen Colbert as an example of someone who used socratic irony. It might be interesting to examine examples given in wikipedia and how they change over time.