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(13 Posts)
BendydickCuminsnatch Thu 10-Mar-16 08:48:11

Have I finally understood it? :

I just saw a bin man (so someone who collects rubbish that is thrown away correctly) throw some litter out of his rubbish van window onto the grass.

Is that ironic?

How do you explain irony? I can't put my finger on it.

BendydickCuminsnatch Thu 10-Mar-16 08:48:35

Also Alanis Morisette Ironic was on the radio at the same time shock

DadDadDad Fri 11-Mar-16 14:13:06

The Wikipedia article seems to have it covered

I suspect the conventional pedant would say authorial intent is required for there to be irony, ie a writer (or film-maker etc) expressing something where the surface meaning is at odds with the true meaning of what the writer wants to express. So, unless the bin man was part of some planned performance art, it couldn't qualify as irony.

But the Wikipedia article covers the idea of situational irony (which is maybe what Morisette had in mind) that really seems elastic enough to cover any real life situation where you see an amusing / poignant juxtaposition of contradictory things.

Justputyourshoesonnow Fri 11-Mar-16 14:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BendydickCuminsnatch Fri 11-Mar-16 17:29:51

But it's not, is it, just? That's not ironic is it? confused Silly Alanis.

I am more confused now.

DadDadDad Fri 11-Mar-16 17:42:13

Yes, AM really stretched the elastic in that song...

Jux Sun 13-Mar-16 09:32:57

A bit like Seven Types of Ambiguity (Elliot Perlman) which was apparently not ambiguous, and came up short of 7. Disclaimer: I haven't read it for a very long time and found it quite forgettable.

RhombusRiley Sun 13-Mar-16 09:40:56

The examples in the alanis song are not irony, they're just bad luck.

Rain on your wedding day is just bad luck. But it would be ironic if you had shelled out for a wedding in the Atacama desert because you were so desperate for it not to rain, and then it rained in the desert, but your home town had the hottest, sunniest day of the year. In February. That would be ironic.

The man who was afraid to fly and then his plane crashed (in the song) is not ironic, but it would be ironic if he was a plane parts manufacturer who had used substandard materials to save money and then they caused the plane he was actually on to crash.

It is hard to define. I live in Canada for a while and I noticed my "British" irony which was quite layered and complex, went over their heads and when I was being ironic people took me at face value. (I wasn't trying to be clever at all, just realised it's how I interact a lot of the time and I had to stop!) I think it's a very British thing.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 16-Mar-16 16:42:31

Agree with RR, Alanis Morisette caused a whole generation not to understand what irony is, and literature teachers are still sorting it out!

DadDadDad Wed 16-Mar-16 19:35:00

Gosh, is it really the case that literature teachers see their students affected by a song that came out before most of them were born? (21 years ago) hmm.

I would have thought that today's students are the ones who read Wikipedia on irony and the amusing critiques of the Morisette song that are on the web, and so are far more clued up than I ever was (in the eighties).

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 16-Mar-16 19:37:26

I reckon the bin man was generating work for his mate, the road sweeper. He'd probably left a rude message on the litter grin

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 16-Mar-16 20:41:26

Nobody refers to Wikipedia for their research DDD unless they are very lazy. wink
But in the same way that I spend much of my time telling students that, despite what burger chains would have us think, it's preferable not to go 'loving' it, or indeed, anything else; then often teachers do find their students talking about songs which were popular before they were born. AM was popular around Oasis time iirc, and both are still frequently referenced by today's teens.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 16-Mar-16 20:44:37

Irony is like goldy and bronzey, right?

sorry, couldn't resist a Baldrick quote

I don't understand irony either. I get it confused with Sod's Law. confused

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