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(The New York Times)   New York Times explores popular misuse of the Ironic tag   (papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com) divider line 190
    More: Ironic  
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22809 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2008 at 1:36 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-06-30 02:53:26 PM
Roxanne Kowalski: Nobody had a coat?
C.D. Bales: I thought you said you didn't want a coat...
Roxanne Kowalski: Why would I not want a coat?
C.D. Bales: You said you didn't want a coat!
Roxanne Kowalski: I was being ironic.
C.D. Bales: Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here. See, uh, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony's not really a, a high priority. We haven't had any irony here since about, uh, '83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.


My favorite definition of irony but it may have had something to do with Daryl Hannah being naked while it was expounded upon.
 
2008-06-30 02:53:53 PM
dcigary:Alanis says in the Wiki page for the song (pops):

"For me the great debate on whether what I was saying in 'Ironic' was ironic wasn't a traumatic debate. I'd always embraced the fact that every once in a while I'd be the malapropism queen. And when Glen and I were writing it, we definitely were not doggedly making sure that everything was technically ironic. It's a testament to the fact that we didn't think it was going to be put under the microscope by 30 million people. For me the sweetest moment came in New York when a woman came up to me in a record store and said, 'So all those things in the "Ironic" aren't ironic.' And then she said, 'And that's the irony.' I said, 'Yup.' To me it's a real snapshot of a nineteen-year-old's definition and version of how life worked at the time. All that 'Ironic' touches on spawned all my future inquiries into and current understandings of the mysteries of life."

So....



LEAVE ALANIS ALONE!!!!


Was Alanis being ironic by naming a song "Ironic" when it didn't contain any irony? Was she that smart or that dumb?

Whenever such questions regarding the meaning of the mysteries of life arise, I think of the sage wisdom of one Lane Myer who asked:

Two brothers... One speaks no English, the other learned English from watching "The Wide World of Sports." So you tell me... Which is better, speaking no English at all, or speaking Howard Cosell?

/ My TWO DOLLARS...I want it.
 
2008-06-30 02:56:17 PM
I think, grammar-wise, usage-wise, and definition-wise, there are worse things than a general misunderstanding about the proper use of the word irony.

/ People confuse nauseous and nauseated.
// It makes me laugh.
/// Not with them.
//// Not just near them.
// AT them.
 
2008-06-30 02:56:22 PM
trancemission:This article still doesn't define irony; it simply points out what it is NOT.

/How ironic
//jk




CRAP! I just missed it. That is what I came here to say. The article doesn't even define Irony. Is that ironic, or just pathetic?
 
2008-06-30 02:57:00 PM
is it ironic that the new york times makes fun of the winona rider character for not being able to define irony, and then fails to define irony?

Borges said being appointed as head of the national library right after he became blind was "magnific irony", so I'm sticking with that example.
 
2008-06-30 02:58:43 PM
Beatle_Matt:I just came for the Alanis pics....

/double entendre?


i192.photobucket.com
 
2008-06-30 02:59:23 PM
One of the most beautiful uses of irony can be found in the following classic:

Here I sit broken hearted,
Tried to poop, but only farted.
Then one day I took a chance,
Tried to fart, but pooped my pants.


It brings tears to my eyes, this correct use of irony.
 
2008-06-30 02:59:49 PM
Gee, a word in the English language with more than one meaning, go figure. Irony IS also a synonym for sarcasm, pick up a dictionary.
 
2008-06-30 03:00:22 PM
Dumb-Ass-Monkey:The city in (i think) South Dakota that burned down while it was flooded. I think THAT is ironic.

The Johnstown flood of 1889. 80 people died by fire.

I think being burned to death in a flood isn't so much ironic as it is proof God really just wants you dead.
 
2008-06-30 03:03:33 PM
If you can stick a magnet to it, it's ironic.
 
2008-06-30 03:04:43 PM
what a completely worthless article.
 
2008-06-30 03:06:05 PM
More hot Alanis pics, please.
 
2008-06-30 03:06:14 PM
we_hates:Another good and useful word is losing its meaning. It happens literallyfiguratively all the time.

Mathematically, what you proposed is not possible. In order for "literally all the time" to occur, we must first be able to quantify the smallest unit of time (which we can't) and at least one word must lose its meaning at every single one of those time units.

/sorry, pet peeve
 
2008-06-30 03:06:27 PM
This article seems to be written by a follower of the popular writing guide The Elements of Style, Again by William Strunk, E.B. White, & Ric Romero.
 
2008-06-30 03:07:31 PM
BRENDAN-FACE:This article seems to be written by a follower of the popular writing guide The Elements of Style, Again by William Strunk, E.B. White, & Ric Romero.

OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS
 
2008-06-30 03:09:45 PM
emocomputerjock:I need answers!

Deciding not to get on a plane because you got a bad feeling, and then having the plane crash = coincidence.

Deciding not to get on a plane because you got a bad feeling, and then having the plane crash on top of your car as you leave the airport = ironic.

tuna fingers:Mathematically, what you proposed is not possible.

Mathematically, it doesn't matter. We are talking language, and using math rules to restrict language is like using tennis rules to restrict bread baking.
 
2008-06-30 03:11:05 PM
MattyBlast:/Irony to me is "A coincidence whose circumstances make it entertaining." Don't like that definition? Try a penis-pump.

You don't get to define 'irony,' moron
 
2008-06-30 03:11:50 PM
ArcadianRefugee:emocomputerjock:I need answers!

Deciding not to get on a plane because you got a bad feeling, and then having the plane crash = coincidence.

Deciding not to get on a plane because you got a bad feeling, and then having the plane crash on top of your car as you leave the airport = ironic.

tuna fingers:Mathematically, what you proposed is not possible.

Mathematically, it doesn't matter. We are talking language, and using math rules to restrict language is like using tennis rules to restrict bread baking.


But what if you wanted to serve the bread?
 
2008-06-30 03:12:12 PM
ArcadianRefugee:

Mathematically, it doesn't matter. We are talking language, and using math rules to restrict language is like using tennis rules to restrict bread baking.


But is it ironic?
 
2008-06-30 03:13:13 PM
bstud:But what if you wanted to serve the bread?

*glare*

Touché, my friend. Touché.
 
2008-06-30 03:13:16 PM
ArcadianRefugee:
tuna fingers:Mathematically, what you proposed is not possible.

Mathematically, it doesn't matter. We are talking language, and using math rules to restrict language is like using tennis rules to restrict bread baking.


Fair enough. But then don't forget to add "literally" to your list of good words losing their meanings.
 
2008-06-30 03:13:31 PM
ArcadianRefugee:Dumb-Ass-Monkey:The city in (i think) South Dakota that burned down while it was flooded. I think THAT is ironic.

The Johnstown flood of 1889. 80 people died by fire.

I think being burned to death in a flood isn't so much ironic as it is proof God really just wants you dead.


Grand Forks Flood, 1997?
 
2008-06-30 03:13:46 PM
So if I specifically plan an outdoor wedding, beause every weather forecast I could find says that it will be the most beautiful rain-free day of the year, and then it rains, is that ironic?
 
2008-06-30 03:14:01 PM
tuna fingers:But then don't forget to add "literally" to your list of good words losing their meanings.

See above. While still a defender of it, I do feel it's a battle already lost.
 
2008-06-30 03:14:48 PM
McMutt:Gee, a word in the English language with more than one meaning, go figure. Irony IS also a synonym for sarcasm, pick up a dictionary.

No, no, no . . . please discard any reference material which leads you to believe such a vast generalization of the facts.

While all sarcasm (as long as it's actual sarcasm, and not merely the user being "snarky," or perhaps "dickish") is in fact irony, it is only one specific type of irony.

So, all properly executed sarcasm = irony, but not all irony = sarcasm. Therefore sarcasm & irony are not synonyms; sarcasm is merely a subset of irony.
 
2008-06-30 03:14:54 PM
Didn't Bender already cover this in a Futurama episode?
 
2008-06-30 03:16:10 PM
srschatzer:Lord_Dubu:I'm actually much more troubled by the gross abuse of the word "literally" in modern English.

For me, the perverse pleasure of watching my wife cringe when I use the word "irregardlessly" is totally worth listening to her biatch me out about "That's not a real word!"


ROFL
 
2008-06-30 03:19:03 PM
Jonny Wilkinson:So if I specifically plan an outdoor wedding, beause every weather forecast I could find says that it will be the most beautiful rain-free day of the year, and then it rains, is that ironic?

Nope. It's just bad luck OR god sending you a hint.
 
2008-06-30 03:20:48 PM
Doc Daneeka:When they get done solving this problem, maybe they can get around to addressing the fact that "begs the question" does not mean the same thing as "raises the question."

What does it mean then? How is it used properly?
 
2008-06-30 03:20:49 PM
Irony: The guy who was stealing electricity and then died when he was tasered by the police.
 
2008-06-30 03:22:26 PM
www.kscakes.com.nyud.net:8080
 
2008-06-30 03:22:28 PM
Jonny Wilkinson:So if I specifically plan an outdoor wedding, beause every weather forecast I could find says that it will be the most beautiful rain-free day of the year, and then it rains, is that ironic?

Are you a weatherman?
 
2008-06-30 03:23:24 PM
gavnook:Doc Daneeka:When they get done solving this problem, maybe they can get around to addressing the fact that "begs the question" does not mean the same thing as "raises the question."

What does it mean then? How is it used properly?


I'll take a stab.

"begs the question" = me pleading for a beej
"raises the question" = me asking myself what pr0n site to visit
 
2008-06-30 03:27:52 PM
Begs the question:

If one concludes that life on earth was created by some outside alien, then that begs the question, "what created the alien?"
 
2008-06-30 03:28:40 PM
Farkwaddle:Jonny Wilkinson:So if I specifically plan an outdoor wedding, beause every weather forecast I could find says that it will be the most beautiful rain-free day of the year, and then it rains, is that ironic?

Nope. It's just bad luck OR god sending you a hint.


Now had you spent a day and a half praying to some kind of sun god and the weather reports were all clear and THEN it started to rain...irony is getting closer
 
2008-06-30 03:29:01 PM
Farkwaddle:

Nope. It's just bad luck OR god sending you a hint.


So, this:

arthur_toafk:
Situational Irony: When parties expect one thing to happen due to reason and something unexpected happens instead.


is an incorrect definition?
 
2008-06-30 03:31:10 PM
gavnook:Doc Daneeka:When they get done solving this problem, maybe they can get around to addressing the fact that "begs the question" does not mean the same thing as "raises the question."

What does it mean then? How is it used properly?


"Begging the question" is a specific form of logical fallacy that occurs when one makes an argument in which the conclusion is implicitly already assumed in an unstated premise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
 
2008-06-30 03:33:01 PM
i thought irony is firing the air traffic controllers and then getting an airport named after you.
 
2008-06-30 03:33:49 PM
i219.photobucket.com
 
2008-06-30 03:34:14 PM
Lord_Dubu:I'm actually much more troubled by the gross abuse of the word "literally" in modern English.

I literally want to kill everyone who misuses the word "literally."

I don't mean figuratively, as in I'm really mad at them. Literally -- I WANT TO KILL THEM.
 
2008-06-30 03:44:10 PM
nodubs:Grand Forks Flood, 1997?

THAT is the one i was thinking of!
 
2008-06-30 03:45:55 PM
The irony of rain on your wedding day, is that rain is suppose to signify good luck in a relationship. Whereas the wet stuff itself is a nuisance, and it could be said you're unlucky.

Strikes me as irony. The author of TFA strikes me as something of an absolutist douche.

/rained on my wedding day
/divorced and NEVAR MARRYING AGAIN
 
2008-06-30 03:49:19 PM
Kunochan:Lord_Dubu:I'm actually much more troubled by the gross abuse of the word "literally" in modern English.

I literally want to kill everyone who misuses the word "literally."

I don't mean figuratively, as in I'm really mad at them. Literally -- I WANT TO KILL THEM.


When I use the term "literally," I mean I write a book about it.

/How I Want to Kill People Who Misuse Words, by Snarfangel
 
2008-06-30 03:49:52 PM
wheatpennyandaglock:i thought irony is firing the air traffic controllers and then getting an airport named after you.


No, that's just GOP politics.


They named a park here after a Republican who opposed using public funds to buy parks. The original name of the park was for the Democrat who fought for several years to get the city to shell out some money for a park. That one, actually...
 
2008-06-30 03:51:09 PM
MattyBlast:Irony to me is "A coincidence whose circumstances make it entertaining." Don't like that definition? Try a penis-pump.

Just because you can't comprehend a word's definition doesn't mean you get to re-define it. Definitions are not subjective.

Purple Sheeple Eater:Seriously, can someone give me a concise, easy to understand definition of irony, with an example? I get dramatic irony, and I understand that "novel coincidence" doesn't count. But I get lost when various definitions seem to make irony a synonym of sarcasm. And for that matter, what differentiates that kind of irony from the kind found in chillybasen's post when the opposite of what is expected happens?

Three main definitions:
1) (to quote Bender) "The use of words expressing something other than their literal intention." By this definition, many if not all sarcastic or sardonic comments are ironic. This is typically referred to as verbal irony, and isn't usually what comes up here on Fark.
2) Feigning ignorance to reveal the ignorance of others. Referred to as Socratic irony, this is almost never debated here, and is reasonably easy to understand.
3) Tragic irony is used in fiction, when the audience knows something the character doesn't. The disparity is what's referred to as the irony. Again, not really an issue on Fark.
4) When a situation ends with the opposite result of what was expected. This is the frequently misused definition, as it can be but is not necessarily related to coincidence. This form is usually called situational irony. Poetic coincidences, tragic coincidences, or just plain funny occurrences aren't ironic unless there's some way in which what happened is the opposite of what should've happened.

I get sick of reading people's examples, but sometimes they're an effective way to illustrate the point. SO, for example(s)...

---There's been a story at the top of the voting tab for a while now in which a truck full of fire extinguishers caught on fire. This is not ironic, but is merely an interesting coincidence. Fire extinguishers are unrelated to the prevention of fire, they are instead tools for putting it out. If the fire extinguishers had somehow worsened the fire, or if the truck had been made of or transporting fire-resistant materials, it would've been ironic.
---Another good example is the invention of dynamite. Nobel invented dynamite with the intention of preventing death; it was supposed to replace more dangerous mining excavation explosives. Dynamite instead became one of the most lethal weapons of war the world had seen up to that point.
---Lastly, President Reagan was nearly killed by something meant to stop him from being killed. One of Hinckley's shots bounced off the bullet-proof windows of the presidential limo, and struck Reagan in the chest. It would've been very ironic if he had died, as the opposite of the intention of the bullet-proof glass would've happened.
 
2008-06-30 03:53:40 PM
i208.photobucket.com

/got nuttin
 
2008-06-30 03:57:17 PM
gavnook:Doc Daneeka:When they get done solving this problem, maybe they can get around to addressing the fact that "begs the question" does not mean the same thing as "raises the question."

What does it mean then? How is it used properly?


"Begs the question" means that a statement is used to prove itself (i.e., circular logic). See the following example.

Person 1: "I think Chinly43 is really attractive."
Person 2: "Why do you think that?"
Person 1: "Because he's good-looking."
Person 2: "That begs the question."
 
2008-06-30 03:57:59 PM
When John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, all of his shots initially missed the President; however a bullet ricocheted off the bullet-proof windows of the Presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the chest. Thus, the windows made to protect the President from gunfire were partially responsible for his being shot.

IRONY.
 
2008-06-30 04:02:40 PM
Sounds to me like the New York Times can't give a satisfactory definition for "irony" either.

Is that ironic? Ah, hell, who cares?
 
2008-06-30 04:08:49 PM
impaler:Begs the question:

If one concludes that life on earth was created by some outside alien, then that begs the question, "what created the alien?"


That's exactly the wrong way to use it.

Begging the question is using a circular argument where the premise already assumes what you're trying to prove.

"fark is the best website ever because it's better than all of the other websites"
or to be more troll-like:
"god exists because the bible says so, and the bible is the word of god so it must be true"
 
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