Or The Irony Misuse Lexicon
“Shibboleth” is one of those words that keep popping up in my life. Each time I see it, I think, oh damn. Not you again. What did you mean?? I don’t like these words that make me feel stupid. Lately, J and I have been having these long creamy conversations and we were talking about shibboleth and that segued into other words and word usage in general, finally coming to a stop on….
Everyone sing along now… “It’s like ra—a–in on your wedDIN’ daaaay!”
More than a good decade has passed since the Alanis Morisette song that should’ve really been called ‘Song About Random Things that Are Rather Unfortuante’, but have you moofs noticed too? Or am I just being paranoid?
Does anyone agree that the word ‘ironic’ has been completely hijacked of late?
I’ll agree that the word even in its original usage, is rather nuanced. Broadly, I would say that something ‘ironic’ is something that happens counter to expectation in a rather dramatic way.
So, Bob turning left when you thought he would turn right is NOT ironic–but Bob dying in a plane crash after he finally overcomes his fear of flying and gets on a plane for the first time in his life in his 50s–yeah, that, out of many of Alanis’ lyrics, was actually pretty ironic.
In that way, sarcasm can be ironic–
Girl: So how big was Pierre?
Girl2 *eye roll* Oh, he was hung like a baguette!
(Pierre was actually hung like a gerbil’s cornichon…)
Though much sarcasm is actually not.
And some purists would argue that Bob would have to die from a PLANE CRASH for it to be truly ironic, and not just say, en route to the airport.
So while we can quibble if getting trampled to death by an elephant on the tarmac instead of the plane he feared his whole life is ironic or not (actually, I think it would be pretty ironic that an elephant killed him at the airport after all that fear of planes, oh whatever), it seems that some fairly large counter-to-expectation element is necessary for irony to ensue. A dash of drama.
So what the floating dead manatee is all this other usage I’ve come across lately??
‘Hey, ‘moar’ is the IRONIC spelling of ‘more’ on the Internet, you idiot.’ (The WHAT spelling?)
‘I started using stupid slang to be ironic and now I legit can’t stop saying craycray.’
Person utters an offensive slur.
Person is called out and then claims he was being ‘ironic’. (?__?)
The strange link that has cropped up between the words ‘hipster’ and ‘ironic’ in general.
Since we’ve entered the 2010s, irony has been diluted thin enough to cover any number of concepts:
doing/saying something stupid/silly with the full knowledge that it is stupid and silly. Incidentally, 99% of times when someone is describing some hipster activity/action/saying with the term ‘ironic’, I believe they are really talking about the term ‘facetious’…. I take that back, I feel like 95% of the time people use ‘ironic’ in ANY context today, they are actually really talking about being facetious.
Walking/dressing with an air of superiority and sense of knowing more than the peasants who surround you. Again, I think this stems from this mysterious link between the words ‘hipster’ and ‘ironic’.
People who say things they know to be blatantly offensive, only to pull the ‘can’t catch me, I was being ironic’ meatblanket over themselves when called out. No, actually. Ditto on people who think they are too enlightened to be politically correct. Using slurs, making rape jokes etc. with the full knowledge of how harmful they are is not being ‘ironic’, it is being an entitled ocean of come.]
[Side 1: Is 'cum' the official or ahaha 'ironic' spelling of the word 'come'??? Because like...I just cannot bring myself to write c-u-m. It looks so gross! So ocean of come these offensive people remain.]
[Sidebar 2: Irony-ception. We go one layer deeper. People who confuse being offensive with being satirical with being ironic. Satire being that intelligent humor that pokes fun at an institution or established system--making fun of those ALREADY disenfranchised or being unabashedly offensive is NOT satire!! Being politically incorrect is not satire!!]
-being sarcastic (though, as outlined above sometimes it can fall under irony, a lot of sarcasm is not).
-being fluffy (Hey, have you felt this puppy’s fur, omg, her fur is so ironic!) noooo, please stop. Puppies are not ironic, and neither are hats, shirts with snarky sayings on them–clothes are not ironic!!
-shibboleth (is a word people in a group use to identify secret members, kind of like a verbal secret handshake and has nothing to do with irony at all.)
-Tacos are tasty.
No, I’m not being ironic, but this post kind of fell apart, maybe because I drifted away on an ocean of come, but if you’ve got any examples with which to enrich my irony misuse lexicon, feel free to leave it in a comment!
Happy weekend, people ^^