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Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, Alanis

I think I was in High School when Alanis Morissette's Song "Ironic" came out. And got immediately overplayed on the local radio station. To be honest I wasn't a HUGE Alanis fan to begin with, but hearing that song over and over and over. And over.

And over.

And OVER. Didn't help.

But what it DID do, or so I thought, was help me understand what Irony was.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Irony is Not a Black fly in your Chardonnay. That's just gross. And shitty bad luck. Or rain on your wedding day is actually supposed to be good luck. Non-Smoking sign on your cigarette break COULD be argued as good luck as it's trying to save your life! But essentially, is just bad luck. As is just about EVERYTHING else in that song.

Bad luck is not irony.

And I was using that word wrong for YEARS, thanks to that bitch.

I can't remember the circumstance when I figured it out, but it was like a light-bulb going off.

Irony is many things and somewhat hard to explain. But first off it implies the opposite of what it actually states, generally used to explain something that is totally contrary. (A huge dog named "Tiny".)

It can be a statement made by one person to another that is exactly the opposite of what they wanted to convey.
"Her head is soft as concrete."
An identical twin saying "You're Ugly!" to his twin.

One of the most famous uses of Irony in literature was in Romeo and Juliet. The whole Death Scene....(Spoiler Alert...they both die...)

When Romeo returns to Verona and finds Juliet drugged. Thinking her dead he kills himself. She wakes up, finds him dead and kills herself with a knife.

Other Literary examples would be banned books that are constantly on the top 100 best seller list, like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Other examples:

~ Posting a video on Facebook about how boring and useless Facebook is.
~ Vegans wearing Leather
~ A Firehouse on Fire
~ A class on "Planning and Scheduling" getting cancelled due to poor planning.
~ "Stand By Your Man" was sung by Tammy Wynette who was married six times.
~ The dictionary entry for "Short" is really long.

So there you go!

Now that you have that song stuck in your head...

Can you think of any other examples of Irony?


Huntress said...

Excellent examples!

For the life of me, I couldn't think of a one.

mshatch said...

the cat hater who is loved by cats?

Carol Kilgore said...

"The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.

Liz said...

I once covered a 10th grade English class during their unit on irony. If only I could remember some good examples. But I do remember that there are three types (verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony). We read a story with dramatic irony. I think.

John Wiswell said...

Once attended a friend's graduation where the commencement speech was what they should have gotten out of their education. It was all impractical as none of it could be acted upon anymore. That one always felt cloyingly ironic.