Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Leave it to an old popular song to mess with my understanding of the language. Thanks a lot, Alanis Morissette.

That sentence thanking Alanis Morissette when it is intended to mean the opposite is apparently ironic--words are used in a way that is contrary to the literal meaning. But I want a word that better fits another definition of irony or ironic--"...incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result; an event or result marked by such incongruity."

For example, I would like to use the term "ironic" to describe the effect of Casey Kasem's illness that leaves him unable to speak when he made a living and became famous for speaking. On America's Top 40 and for "voicing" Shaggy on Scooby Doo. But purists would say that is not a really good use of the term.

Ok, let's say that an expert on the subject of lightning is struck and killed by, you got it, lightning. Aside from being tragic, there is another feature to that coincidence, that happenstance, that unusual, incongruous set of circumstances. But is "irony" or "ironic" the right word?

Can't think of another. Help me out folks.

Isn't this a wonderful language? Would that I could use it better. But I guess some others have had difficulty with the concept, folks like Kierkegaard and Schlegel.

Schlegel describes irony as the effect of a ‘finite being striving to comprehend an infinite reality.’ Hmmmmm. That makes a lot of sense. (Ironic or just sarcastic?)

Aw, crap, now I'm back to being really confused.

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