Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dear Alanis Morrisset

(and anyone else it may concern.)

"Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance)[1] is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions."

examples of irony:

"When John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, all of his shots initially missed the President; however, a bullet ricocheted off the bullet-proof Presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the chest. Thus, a vehicle made to protect the President from gunfire was partially responsible for his being shot." (situational irony)

"In O. Henry's story The Gift of the Magi, a young couple are too poor to buy each other Christmas gifts. The wife cuts off her treasured hair to sell it to a wig-maker for money to buy her husband a chain for his heirloom pocket watch. She's shocked when she learns he had pawned his watch to buy her a set of combs for her long, beautiful, prized hair." (cosmic irony)

"Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice begins with the proposition “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” In fact, it soon becomes clear that Austen means the opposite: women (or their mothers) are always in search of, and desperately on the lookout for, a rich single man to make a husband." (comic irony...(not to be confused with cosmic))

"Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers. For instance, if a man exclaims, “I’m not upset!” but reveals an upset emotional state through his voice while truly trying to claim he's not upset, it would not be verbal irony by virtue of its verbal manifestation (it would, however, be situational irony). But if the same speaker said the same words and intended to communicate that he was upset by claiming he was not, the utterance would be verbal irony."

Now, Alanis, pay extra special attention here:

"The majority of American Heritage Dictionary’s usage panel found it unacceptable to use the word ironic to describe mere unfortunate coincidences or surprising disappointments*"

*such as: your lyrics.

A super old dude dying is not ironic. 98 year olds die a lot. most people die before they get there. Winning the lottery does not make you immortal, it just means you got some lucky sons-of-bitches inheriting all kinds of awesome and win.

A fly in you chardonay is not ironic. At all. It can't even come close to being confused with it. It just kinda sucks. but only kinda, because, here's the important part, YOU CAN PICK THE FLY OUT AND DRINK IT ANYWAY! WHO WASTES GOOD WINE?

"Ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife." Ok Alanis. I can only assume this is a metaphor, because nobody has that many spoons. But needing a knife at not having one is not ironic. If, perhaps, the day before this knife-requiring incident, you'd thought "hey, I never use knives" and sold all of your knives to buy a plethora of spoons and then went "shit, i need a knife now" that would be irony. cosmic irony to be precise. like when I mailed all of my socks home because I only had ballet flats in Europe and then bought ankle boots 20min later, having to then buy socks.

Basically Alanis, get over it. The only certainty in life is death. Apparently at the age of 98 after winning the lottery.

This has been a public service announcement.

-m xx

p.s. quotes from wiki. Imma researchin'

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