Let’s Talk Words, Or At Least One

In Which I Contemplate the word IRONY

The internet, social media, texts, emails–they get blamed for so much. So many misunderstandings. And, I blame it for anarchy against the English language. While I’m not a grammar hound, chasing down people who misuse words and reprimanding them, at least not anymore as too many hours in a day would be lost to such a frivolous task, I do find myself raising an eyebrow at the careless use of language.

What has instigated this? you might ask. I just finished a book of literary stories written by an MFA grad who used the word “ironic” to describe the name that a brother gave to a text group that consisted of him and his two sisters. The name was “Siblings.” They are siblings. How is this ironic?

In the literal sense of the word, it’s not ironic. However, I went to find out how the “kids” are using ironic these days to see what may have catapulted from Alanis Morrissette’s abduction of the word. In her song she used the word to refer to an unfortunate outcome–that rain on your wedding day.

And then I found this gem from vocabulary.com:

If something is ironic it’s unexpected, often in an amusing way. If you’re the world chess champion, it would be pretty ironic if you lost a match to someone who just learned to play yesterday.

Ironic is the adjective for the noun irony. In contemporary speech, when we call something ironic, we often mean sarcastic.

from vocabulary.com

The bold print is me–or my doing at any rate. So, now irony is sarcasm, which, if you were to believe Oscar Wilde “is the lowest form of wit but the highest form of intelligence.” I would like to append a caveat to that because while so many people are sarcastic these days, so few do it well. I’ll let that speak for itself.

I am left with a writer who has used “ironic” to describe “siblings” who really are siblings–which seems to not be ironic, unfortunate (although that might be up for debate considering the “woe is me” attitude of the one sister), or sarcastic (Sarcasm is the caustic use of words, often in a humorous way, to mock someone or something. (wikipedia)

Is it me?

🎶🎵🎹It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me🎶🎵🎹 (from Taylor Swift’s, Anti-Hero).

Have I missed something in this word usage? If not, I am seriously thinking about taking an arbitrary word, giving it my own definition, and seeing if it catches on. Want to join me? And then maybe we can an “un” to “irregardless” unirregardless of the consequences. 😉

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Words, Or At Least One

  1. HaHA! Ijust did a google search for the word IRONY and also found out how to pronounce the words Dramatic Irony. Seriously! Dram- ah-tik aye -ron-ee. Good grief. I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box even though I do have a university education but I reckon I could pronounce those two words without the help of phonetic spelling.

    1. Maybe there’s someone getting paid for all of the pronunciation guides! I do hate to admit this though, but if I ‘m not paying attention (about 99% of the time then), my pronunciation is closer to aye-er-ny than aye-ron-ee, which may be thanks to my Marilyn (Maryland) accent. 🤣

  2. It’s unironic. Leave words alone (not you, the ones who make up their own definitions).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.