There's the very popular children's story called Careful Hans.

Careful Hans is a story about a not-so-careful and foolish boy, Hans.

Why is this so? I understand the name of a story doesn't necessarily have to make sense, but it can't be contradictory to the story itself.

Is this supposed to be ironic? (But children don't really understand irony, do they?)

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question is not about the English language per se. It belongs on another site, perhaps one about children's stories or folk tales, or child psychology – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 7 '17 at 13:06
  • It's meant to be ironic, and many children understand irony perfectly well. :) – Andrew Jul 7 '17 at 14:24
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo You're misunderstanding me. This is not at all related to child psychology or the likes. That last line was just a question tag meant to imply that I don't think children understand irony and so the title being ironic seems unlikely to me. That was no question; only the sentences in bold are questions. I bracketed the last line to make my purpose clear. – Soha Farhin Pine Jul 7 '17 at 15:59
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    You might add what irony you are thinking of. And, does Hans become careful by the end of the story? I agree with @Tᴚoɯɐuo that this is literary evaluation, and not about learning the English language. You might want to check if on-topic at Literature SE. – user3169 Jul 7 '17 at 16:10
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    The literal meaning is adjective + noun. Reckless Joe: a guy named Joe who was reckless. A guy named Hans who was careful. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 7 '17 at 17:51

I don't know whether the story is derived from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale entitled Clever Hans, but the title is probably a reference to it.

In the Grimm tale, Clever Hans keeps doing foolish things. As the wiki article says, "The title is claimed by most people to be ironic.", and the same is probably true of James Hassett's book Careful Hans.

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