Irony / Ironic

“Irony” has been a word I hated for a long time, but

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it’s almost TOO BIG now to blog about. The problems with this word are almost too egregious and too numerous to do justice to it. Nonetheless, it screams out for an entry here, if only to put me on record as anti-irony.

Certainly, we are all aware, even those among us us who still call things “ironic”, and those knuckle-dragging troglodytes who think they are using “irony” ironically, that this word has been abused and abused and abused like I abused my grandmother. (Relax, it was the 90’s…it’s what everybody did in the 90’s–abuse their grandparents. I know that doesn’t make it right but it FELT right.) It isn’t even worth explaining the definition of the word here because it is clear that this word is nearly devoid of meaning–when people can use it to simply describe something bad, or merely interesting, that happened. Perhaps it needs to be totally stricken from our lexicon. There is no use trying to fix a word that is totaled.

So my question then becomes, what do we need to do to remove a word from public usage? We can stop using it ourselves, of course, and encourage others to do the same. And when someone around us, say an acquaintance or close relative uses this word, we can ignore them, or hit them, or stab them in the penis or vagina with a piece of glass. If they are a talking dog, we can stab them in the dog penis or dog vagina. Parrots should be thrown into the sea and chimpanzees who can sign “irony” should be fired out of a cannon, also into the sea, but a different sea from the parrots because we wouldn’t want them procreating and creating an underwater master race of parronkeymen and parronkeymaids who take over the world and put us in cages. Because that would be ironic! 😛

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  • A hipster asking us to remove “Ironic” from our lexicon? I’m sure that your shirt is ironic, and your hair is too. Oh the irony.

  • I couldn’t agree more with this post! The same sort of crutchification has happened to “awkward.” It has also become an insert-here-if-you-can’t-think-of-another-modifier-because-your-brain-is-saturated-with-high-fructose-ignorance. [Back to reality] Your posts are hilarious, please keep them coming. Also, feel to check out some rather disgusting repurposing of words at the twitter account listed. I haven’t updated in a while, but I will soon. One last thing, you should check out the worst word (in my opinion) in the English language– somnambulate. Cheers!

  • @Tammy – I think your crotch isn’t the only thing that’s rotten. At least “awkward” still has meaning, as opposed to “irony/ironic” or “random,” where any semblance of the original meaning has been pushed under a bus.

  • When trying to define anything, it’s usually pretty prudent to start with a dictionary definition and then discuss what it means and how ironic situations generally follow the so-called official rules.
    Definitions of irony:
    – Witty language used to convey insults or scorn; ” he used sarcasm to upset his opponent”; ” irony is wasted on the stupid”
    – Language intended to mean the opposite of what is said; covert sarcasm.
    – Sarcasm; a mode of speech meaning the opposite of what is said; as, to cry like a baby- that’s a fine way for a man to act, said he with keen irony.
    – A mode of speech in which the meaning of the speaker is contrary to his words; a delicate species of sarcasm.
    – A kind of satire in which, while the terms are commendatory, the tones are sarcastic; censure sarcastically administered in terms of praise.
    – Mode of speech intended to convey a meaning opposite to what is expressed; covert satire.
    – A sort of humor, ridicule, or light sarcasm, which adopts a mode of speech the meaning of which is contrary to the literal sense of the words.

    An explanation that just barely captures the true feeling and definition of irony. The definitions taken from the dictionary, as you can see, are confusing – and that’s not what a definition is supposed to be! The first two explanations from the first set of definitions above, appear to be actually a mixture of sarcasm and tragic irony. The second set of definitions seem to have been added to balance what irony actually is, with what it is most often mistaken for. You see? Not necessarily very helpful.

    It’s also not necessarily anyone’s fault that it is difficult to pin down an accurate “cover all” definition of irony – it is instead due to two “problems” regarding the evolution of language:

    – Language evolves naturally
    – Language evolves through misuse

    Regarding the first in the list: irony actually takes on many literary and completely genuine forms. With so many different definitions of irony, it is understandable that a “cover all” definition does not exist, and also that the dictionary’s definition contains so many variations of meaning.

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