Word Snooper “Ironic” Poll

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7 Responses to Word Snooper “Ironic” Poll

  1. Hey, you linguists out there didn’t take the bait. You’re supposed to tell me a linguist’s job is to describe, not prescribe usage. In other words, don’t shoot the lexicographers; they’re just the messengers.

  2. Wish I could have answered both!

  3. Holly says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the ironic thing about Alanis Morissette’s song is that the examples are not ironic at all. Maybe that’s where the irony is. Or maybe I’m just giving her too much credit.

  4. I think it’s kind of funny that the results are 50/50 …

  5. tiffanyhawk says:

    Rain on your wedding day isn’t ironic. It just sucks.

  6. paulryankatz says:

    This debate brings me back to my ninth-grade English class, when our discussion of situational vs. dramatic irony devolved into a debate about whether the song failed to live up to its promise by listing lots of unpleasant (or strange, or impossible [“a free ride when you’ve already paid”]) situations but no truly ironic ones, or whether Alanis had intended this all along as the ultimate sort of irony. If you’re willing to grant Alanis the credit, you could even see it as higher-order irony: a song about irony that manages to be ironic while failing to describe any actual irony–a song, if you’re feeling generous, that succeeds doubly while tricking viewers into believing it’s failed.

    Are we willing to put so much faith in Ms. Morissette?

  7. Who’d have thought (I’ll write it that way because I’m not sure how to spell “who’d’athunk”) Paul’s ninth-grade class would have anticipated the sophisticated argument Holly made just now? That’s not ironic, but interesting.

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