The irony detector is a scientific article about a software application that is capable of detecting ironic passages in written text by way of linguistic analysis. The sentence “Well, well, now this is what I call important scientific work” will be marked as being ironic by the application – you would expect.
The irony of this project is that it is ironic in itself. It is a parody on overly technical scientific detail, and only a reader who successfully works through the details of the article will detect the irony. Embedded in linguistic formalities the reader discovers that the irony detector has no such powers and is actually nothing more than a program that randomly labels sentences as ironic or non-ironic. The true irony detector is the reader.