September 22nd, 2003



No, not really.

I was flipping through channels, and I came across something on Fox where some chick was singing Alanis Morissette's song, "Ironic".

It reminded me of a tirade that an English professor of mine once launched on the class. That song came on the radio, and she flipped out. She said that she'd come up with a new term, which she called, 'Alanis's Irony'.

Alanis's Irony referred to people who incorrectly used the words irony or ironic to refer to something that wasn't, in fact, irony or ironic. She blamed Ms. Morissette in part for the fact that way too many people are ignorant of what irony is, and that due to her misuse (if you actually listen to the song, none of the things she lists and mentions are actually ironic (So I guess the answer to her question, "Isn't it ironic?" would be a definite, "No!")) tons of people have started calling any sort of odd coincidence or strange occurrence 'irony'.

So, to help keep my old English professor from going insane, I'm passing on her words of wisdom (as she asked us to do), along with a dictionary definition of "irony":
Main Entry: iro·ny
Pronunciation: 'I-r&-nE also 'I(-&)r-nE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -nies
Etymology: Latin ironia, from Greek eirOnia, from eirOn dissembler
Date: 1502
1 : a pretense of ignorance and of willingness to learn from another assumed in order to make the other's false conceptions conspicuous by adroit questioning -- called also Socratic irony
2 a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c : an ironic expression or utterance
3 a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity b : incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play -- called also dramatic irony, tragic irony
  • Current Mood