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Wednesday, August 26, 2015


For this week's word, I want to talk about something that is used in writings and in every day conversations on a regular basis: irony [ahy-ruh-nee]. According to Merriam-Webster.com, irony (a noun) has two main definitions: 1. "the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really think, especially in order to be funny" and 2. "a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in a way that seems to be opposite of what you expected".

For example, imagine that you have plans to go a picnic with friends but on the day you're supposed to go, thunderstorms roll through your town.  You might look out the window and say, "What a lovely day for a picnic."  You would be using irony in that statement because, of course, it's not really a lovely day; it's the exact opposite. (Unless you're a big fan of storms and getting wet while you're eating!)

As for irony in a situation, consider the famous boat The Titanic, which launched in 1912. The Titanic was advertised as and believed to be 100% unsinkable, yet, on its very first voyage it hit an iceberg and sank. Isn't it ironic?

People use phrases with irony in them all the time, like when they say that something is "clear as mud" or when they describe someone as "friendly as a rattlesnake".

What other examples of irony can you think of?

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