Irony Explained

I should start a new category named “Language.” This article is an all-too-good explanation of the word “ironic” and how it is greatly misused to the point of being meaningless. Let’s place all the blame on Alanis Morissette, who has since admitted to having the wrong definition for the word when she wrote her song. (Rain on your wedding day is in no way ironic. It’s unfortunate. It might be tragic. It might even start bridal rage. But it’s not ironic. If your parents got divorced on your wedding day, though, then we might start considering the “irony” label.)


4 Responses to “Irony Explained”

  1. Kevin Hines
    29. June 2003 at 22:31

    The only thing that bothers me more then the misused ‘irony’ is the mis-used literally.

    ” I was so excited I literally jumped off the planet!”


  2. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    29. June 2003 at 22:48

    Hey Kevin,

    I agree with you completely. In fact, there was a column in the New York Post this morning about that. The columnist (Phil Mushnick) was taking one of our esteemed long-time local newscasters to task for saying that the Harry Potter books were “literally flying off the shelves.”



  3. RJ
    30. June 2003 at 15:28

    I wouldn’t blame the popular incorrect usage of the word “ironic” on Alanis Morisette. People love to thump on the fact that she got it wrong, once on sportscenter the newscaster pointed out how everything in the song was really just bummers. If anything, I would suggest that Alanis helps people come off as pseudo intellectual by allowing someone to segue into a short speech on incorrect usage when they are in the car and the song comes on the radio. Its only anecdotal, but it feels to me that a few years ago this was one of those factoids thrown around by everyone I knew; and something that was known by more people then not known.

    There is a scene in Reality Bites that riffs on the fact that no one knows the correct usage of “Ironic”, I know the movie predates the song by a few years.

  4. jimbo
    8. September 2003 at 14:30

    if you want some more on the whole irony debate in popular media check out the film “teaching mrs tingle”