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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kinda Wordless Wednesday: Situational Irony

I am an English teacher, so occasionally I'm allowed to do this: Here's a lesson about irony.

When Alanis Morrisette sang, "It's like rain on your wedding day," or waxed on about "black flies in Chardonney," it was not, in fact, ironic. These two examples are unfortunate. Perhaps, in the words of my friend Josh, these examples may be "Alanic," but they are not ironic.


Wikipedia, in itself an odd choice for an English teacher, (for it is not the most credible of sources), explains that, "Situational irony is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Likewise, cosmic irony is disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world (or the whims of the gods)."

Therefore, for your enjoyment, I present to you an example of situational irony:

Behold! My summons to traffic court. I didn't realize my lead food offended the entire state of Maryland. Getting a speeding ticket is, in fact, simply unfortunate. However, juxtaposed with the Thoreau quote, this is a tableaux of situational irony.

Unless I'm wrong. If I wrote an entire pretentious, pedantic post defining irony incorrectly....that, by definition, would be ironic.

A little too ironic. 

Don't you think?

17 comments:

SamiJoe said...

OMG. I am a Canadian Thoreau lover. And Emerson was drilled.into.my.head.
Sometimes the english teacher just comes out in us all....

Daffy said...

Oh shoosh...you teach English? You probably abhor the grammatical and spelling errors that blanket my posts.

I really should strive to put the more intelligent side of me forward. Of course it's my arse that you all get mostly and when you've worked with the kids that I have for going on ten years, one does fall victim to the dumbing down of America. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Damn. Did I just make that whole comment about me? on YOUR blog?

A thousand apologies...

michelle said...

speeding tickets suck. no irony there

blueviolet said...

Agreed!

Bethany said...

that's one of my favorite quotes.
i'm sorry about the speeding ticket.
i don't know if it's because I just ate too much pizza or just because i'm dumb, but i don't actually understand this post.
i do get that the AM song was using ironic wrong.
but like did you get the card on the same day as the ticket?
sorry for being so dumb.
you must cringe when you read my grammer, i have no idea if i used "lie" right in todays post. i will NEVER understand that.

Marla said...

Ironically, your unfortunate dilemma somehow amuses me. :-)

Nancy C said...

I knew I would explain this wrong! Oh, the irony. The situational irony is that right before I got the ticket, I was thinking of my goals, loving nature, and listening to great music. I was living with intention, but apparently not intending to follow.the speed limit. Perhaps this is more cosmic irony. Maybe I need a new job.

Cat said...

Sorry about the ticket, but love that you made it funny!

Be careful about Maryland. She's a beyotch when you offend her sensibilities.

Unknown Mami said...

Well the quote does not say, "Speed confidently in the direction of your dreams!..."

adrienzgirl said...

Speeding tickets suck. I always thought they were there as sort of a suggestion. hehe..

Minivan Lover said...

I say when (if) you go to court you just tell the judge you were "going confidently in the direction of your dreams."

Traci said...

I love, Love, LOVE this post. I hate how ironic is so misused lately. And the fact that you used this magnet to hang up your traffic ticket cracks me up.

As always, you made me smile today!
:-)

Rebecca said...

I like your site word list in the background. Nice addition to your home decor!

Corrie Howe said...

I got it ...but I've been reading you for awhile. ;-)

dek said...

"Alanic" - I love it! Have you noticed that some people use the word "ironically" to mean "coincidentally?"

Though I do have one Hand In My Pocket, All I Really Want is to declare a Moratorium on misuse before we're all Giggling Again For No Reason.

I'm not Surrendering on this issue of Precious Illusions, though You Owe Me Nothing in Return - it's my prerogative as a Citizen of the Planet. I want my Hands Clean. After all, You Oughta Know.

Mrs4444 said...

You're funny :) Good luck in court.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

hahahahahaahaha!!! i like alanic. that's good stuff.