A pet peeve: the misue of the word 'ironic'

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon_Are, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    This drives me crazy. Talk show hosts, various celebrities, sports announcers, and everyday folks pronouncing something as ironic when, nine times out of ten, it is just a mild coincidence at best. Irony is deep, multi-faceted, and powerful, not a phrase to be tossed about carelessly.
    What led me to post this was hearing that God-awful Alanis Morissette song- Ironic - on the radio today. Alanis' examples of irony include:
    *rain on your wedding day
    *a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
    *good advice that you "just didn't take"
    and, of course,
    *ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
    Nothing at all in that song is ironic (although much is moronic).
    Here are a couple of examples of the real thing, for your pleasure:
    *A man who has been smoking cigarettes for decades finally gives them up in order to live a longer, healthier life. After a few weeks of abstaining, he can no longer handle the stress of not smoking and blows his brains out, ending his life. Genuine irony!
    *An elderly man is coaxed by his family to get his eyes examined because they are worried about his safety while he drives. On the way to the eye doctor, he crashes his car into a brick wall that he did not see. Genuine irony!
    *An engaged couple debate on whether to have an indoor or outdoor wedding. They eventually agree that the risk of rain on their wedding day is too great to chance an outdoor wedding, so they plan an indoor ceremony. During the event, the fire alarm malfunctions and the sprinkler system activates, soaking everyone in the building. Genuine irony!
    Just had to get that off my chest; thanks for listening.
    (incidentally, the eye doctor/car crash really happened to my late father-in-law [​IMG])
    Jon
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Well, I do like Alanis.
    However, I consider Ironic her weakest song and I must admit that there is not one sample of irony in it.
    But...isn't that ironic? [​IMG]
     
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    don't you think? [​IMG]
    Nope, my peeve is the use of the word interesting. Not so much that it's misused, but my dismay at what they find interesting. [​IMG]
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Rain,

    Maybe that's what we've been missing all along (I too noticed that most of what's in that song is bad luck rather than irony).

    The real deeper meaning behind the song Ironic is that it is ironic that there is no irony in the song title Ironic! Oh my God I've think I've just gone cross-eyed...
     
  5. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    I really do not care for Alanis' music. In fact, I really don't care for singers that just HAVE to over-pronounce every syllable in their songs as if they're just learning English. It's like the sound of dragging your fingernails across the chalkboard to me. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mark Dubbelboer

    Mark Dubbelboer Screenwriter

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    Actually saw a comedian, obviously canadian, that did a bit on her song not being canadian

    he added lines to make her lines ironic...but i'm not bright enough to remember them
     
  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Alanis hasn't done a decent thing after she left her six episode run on You Can't Do That On Television back in 1986. [​IMG]
     
  8. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

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    lol..I personally like to misuse the term "etc." or I guess abuse would be a better way to say it.
    When I am posting and can't think of any more details to say, I just drop in the old "etc."
    I feel really sleazy for doing it, but it gets me out of lots of sentences, when I am speaking technically and can't think of the right terms, etc. [​IMG]
    as far as Alanis goes I never dug her that much but I think the video I like because she is cruising through cold snow-banked roads in a big old car, and that brings back memories for me. I moved to the desert because I like the warmer weather, and now sometimes I miss the cold. maybe that is a little ironic or that is a misuse of the term?
    so do you think if John Wayne Bobbit had gotten a vasectomy before his "accident", that would be Ironic? Just a bit?
    I need a dicktionary for all of this. (hahaha)
     
  9. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    Mr. Play-it-safe was afraid to fly...and as the plane crashed down he thought "well isn't this nice?"
    That seems a bit ironic to me. The guy NEVER flies then he finally does and of ALL the flights that day HIS is the one that crashes. Seems ironic to me...[​IMG]
    Dan Hine
     
  10. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I hate the misuse of 'to' and 'too.'

    For example:

    wrong (morally): I ate to much.

    right: I ate too much.

    wrong: I like that to. (I like that to what???)

    right: I like that too.

    Curse people and their ignorance of 'to' and 'too'

    Sorry, just a lil pet peeve of mine that sends me into fits.
     
  11. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    I agree - the plane crash verse in the song "Ironic" is true irony. Rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you've already paid, and a black fly in your chardonney are not!
     
  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I'll throw in two more pet peeves: The increasing level of cluelessness about how to use the apostrophe (as in having no idea what the distinction is between its and it's), and using the word "dollars" WITH the dollar sign (as in "It cost $500 dollars"). That is redundant.
     
  13. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    One of the MANY things that drive me crazy is when people prounce "height" as if the ht was reversed.
     
  14. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    I remember a news report where one of the members of the band Anthrax stated that the members had all stocked up on Cipro so as not to suffer an ironic death....
     
  15. David Oliver

    David Oliver Second Unit

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    Well as long as we are pulling out our pet peeves. The misuse of i.e. versus e.g. But my favorite, using "literally" when you mean "figuratively", e.g. "My jaw literally hit the floor when she walked in the room."
     
  16. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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  17. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    Another pet peeve thread? I am certain I will be guilty of abusing someone's pet peeve before this subject is exhausted. But hey, it's a learning experience. [​IMG]
    Fingernails on a chalkboard for me are people that finish every spoken statement with the question, you know?
    I hate you-knower's [​IMG]
     
  18. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Irony:

    - The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.

    - An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.

    - A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.

    - Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.

    - An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

    Alanis:

    - Idiot.

    (A better title for that song would be "Inconveient".)
     
  19. Allan Sampson

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    Hmm.
    My biggest pet peeve is teenage assholes loudly making "funny" comments for the benefit of all in a theatre during a movie, and then listening to all the teenage girls throughout the audience giggle loudly. Something about that common occurrence utterly shakes my faith in humanity.
    Parents who bring babies into the theatre, like at the 11:00pm - 2:30am [​IMG] showing of Fellowship of the Ring the other night, is close behind.
    Oh and recently I've noticed that teenagers have taken up a new trait. Stomping loudly up and down the stadium seating aisles in the middle of the movie like some kind of territorial dance notifying everyone of their entrance or exodus.
    In terms of common day to day stuff? Probably the most uniformly hated of all grammatical blunders: Misuse of the apostrophe. Specifically, using it in places it has no business being.
    In fact I can't help but use this as a bellwether of intelligence when dealing with people. I'm sure that's completely unfair five percent of the time but it seems to work.
    Just to clear things up:
    Use of the Apostrophe
    The apostrophe has only TWO uses. Check it out.
    1) TO SHOW POSSESSION: Use it to show that somebody possesses (owns) something. Put the apostrophe on the other side of the S when the somebody is plural. The somebody doesn't have to be alive.
    The exception? Never use it when the somebody is the word "it."
    RIGHT: Jack's mother was furious.
    RIGHT: It was entirely the dog's fault.
    RIGHT: He cut down the town's only birch tree.
    RIGHT: The boys' bicycles were red.
    RIGHT: The boys stole their mothers' purses.
    RIGHT: He swung the church's doors open wide.
    WRONG: He stepped on it's tail.
    RIGHT: He stepped on its tail.
    2) TO SHOW OMISSION: Use it to contract two separate words together. This is the ONLY time you should ever see "it's."
    "I would" = "I'd"
    "they have" = "they've"
    "it is" = "it's"
    RIGHT: Oh it's a jolly holiday with Mary.
    RIGHT: They'll be sorry.
    RIGHT: My pen's a PaperMate.
    Writing with these contractions is considered informal or conversational. Formal writing, like documents, should include all words.
    That's it! Simple, huh?
    Incorrect Use of the Apostrophe!
    Using it to pluralize ANYTHING. Never use apostrophe S to show there's more than one of something!
    WRONG: I have to go out for a few minute's and smoke some cigarette's.
    WRONG: Muffin's for sale!
    WRONG: Agh, this is hurting my brain's.
    WRONG: My computer is a dual proc; it has two CPU's!
    RIGHT: Sorry, I mean it has two CPUs.
    Anybody angry at me?
    If you ritualistically abuse the apostrophe and think I'm a pompous ass for having the audacity to set you straight and would like to loudly tell me how little you give a crap about what I think of you, consider this: It doesn't matter what I think about you. But some day somebody important to you is going to think it's important. Maybe your college-educated girlfriend who suddenly wonders if she shouldn't find someone a bit brighter, or the guy who reads your resume and throws it in the trash after the first paragraph.
    Trust me. You don't want to end up like this guy:
    http://petemoss.com/spamflames/Shifm...onSpammer.html
    Brad_W: I'm with you on the epidemic to/too confusion. This is even simpler than the apostrophe. I think it can be linked to how little people read these days. My 22-year-old roommate is proud of the fact that he's never read a book completely through in his life. Movies and especially TV are turning society's brains to mush.
    Damn am I getting cynical.
    Allan Sampson
     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I hate when people mix up your and you're
     

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