Don't you love this song?
I think it's great, BUT unfortunately, has perpetuated the incorrect use of the word ironic.
Now let's be honest, I can't spell, I don't have perfect grammar, and there are grammar mistakes in this very blog, BUT I have decided I will learn the meaning of the word ironic, and use it correctly from now on.
So, here's the English lesson for the day (well according the internet, correct me if I'm wrong, please!)
There are three types of irony. Verbal, dramatic, and situational.
I like to think of verbal irony as sarcasm without the intent of ridicule or mocking. It's that remark that has an opposite intent of it's literal meaning.
For example, if you were trying to be ironic on a stormy, dreary day, you might say: “What glorious weather!”
Or if you were suffering from a bad cold, you might ironically say: “I feel like a million bucks.”
This is in speeches or a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.
This is the kind that I think is most misused and is my goal to use correctly.
Let's start with what situational irony is NOT:
It is not:
- coincidence “This is the third time today we’ve run into each other. How ironic.”
- curiosity "That dog is mothering that cat, ironic."
- oddity “Yesterday was a beautiful, warm day in November. It was really ironic.”
- paradox "I've slept all day, and I now so tired. How ironic."
- bad luck "winning the lottery and dropping dead the next day, meeting the man of your dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife." Insert Alanis song here.
An occasion where the outcome or intention of the action is significantly different from what was expected or considered appropriate.
Example 1: I was watching The Voice tonight (yeah, I know, make fun), and Christina Aguilera made a comment about how she didn't like a contestants song because it's degrating to women. I thought, that's ironic because you sing about and act as an object. You yourself objectify women.
Example 2: A man takes a step aside to avoid getting sprinkled by a wet dog, and falls into a swimming pool. (See it can be funny, but it also has to have a parallel)
I don't know if any of this makes sense, but hopefully I can use the word correctly in the future. And don't worry, if you use the word incorrectly in my ear shot, I will not correct you. I might smile, but I won't correct you ;)