Guy Kawasaki interviews Jon Winokur [Ten Questions with Jon Winokur: How to Heighten Your Sense of the Absurd]. In response to a question about what he's working on now (Q12) Winokur say he's writing a book called The Big Curmudgeon. Winokur then goes ont to say,
It drives me crazy when people say “ironic” when they mean “coincidental.” The classic example is Morissettian Irony, which I define in the book as “irony based on a misapprehension of irony, i.e., no irony at all.” It’s named for the pop singer Alanis Morissette, whose hit single, “Ironic” mislabels coincidence and inconvenience as irony.I hate it when people don't get irony ... or sarcasm.
In the song, situations purporting to be ironic are merely sad, random, or annoying (“It's a traffic jam when you're already late/It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break”). In other words, “Ironic” is an un-ironic song about irony. Which, of course, is ironic in itself. But wait, there’s more, a “bonus irony” if you will: “Ironic” has been cited as an example of how Americans don’t get irony, despite the fact that Alanis Morissette is Canadian!
[To see the video, go to Alanis Morissette, click on "music" then on "ironic" at the bottom, third from the left.]
[Hat Tip: Jim Lippard]
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