Jump to content


Is It Ironic or a Coincidence

Recommended Posts

Okay, school is in. I need help with explaining the difference between Irony/Ironic and Coincidence to my child. Many adults do not use the word Irony/Ironic correctly, so this will be good for all of us.




Please break it down with examples.




Is it considered ironic that a parent would tell their teen not to smoke, but turns around and does it him- or herself?







Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning hypocrisy, deception, or feigned ignorance) is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does and what one means or what is generally understood. Irony is a mode of expression that calls attention to the character's knowledge and that of the audience.



There is some argument about what qualifies as ironic, but all senses of irony revolve around the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is said and what is meant, or between an understanding or expectation of a reality and what actually happens. "when the literal truth is in direct discordance, to the perceived truth".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A coincidence is something that happens by chance. It is not coincidental that a parent tells a child not to smoke, yet they do it themselves. Heck, I am not even sure I would call that Irony. I think I would call that hypocritical.


Anyway, they way I explained it to ds9 is that something that happens by chance is a coincidence. It is also usually used in a positive way...something you want to happen like, "Man, I wish it wasn't raining today" and about 10 minutes later the rain stops and the sun comes out.


Irony can be used in a similar way, but irony usually has a negative connotation. For instance, "Wasn't it ironic that I left the house today hoping I didn't run into anyone I know and the FIRST thing that happened was that I turned the corner and there was not only someone I know, but the very last person I would ever want to see on a day like this."


I think of that Alanis song..."Traffic jam when you are already late, a no smoking sign on your cigarette break, 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife, meeting then man of your dreams...and then meeting his beautiful wife." "Mr. play it safe, was afraid to fly...packed his suitcase, kissed his kids goodbye. He'd waited his whole da*n life to take that flight...and as the plane crashed down, he though 'well, isn't this nice?'"


Coincidence= positive (or not dreadful), Irony = "geez, that sucks!"


Besides...anything that can be called a "kwinky-dink" and 90% of the population still know what you mean can't be BAD. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love that song, but don't really think she's using "ironic" correctly in all instances. Here's someone who agrees with me.





The use of words to mean something very different from what they appear on the surface to mean. Jonathan Swift uses irony in “A Modest Proposal†when he suggests the eating of babies as a solution to overpopulation and starvation in Ireland.



adjective1. humorously sarcastic or mocking; "dry humor"; "an ironic remark often conveys an intended meaning obliquely"; "an ironic novel"; "an ironical smile"; "with a wry Scottish wit" [syn: dry] 2. characterized by often poignant difference or incongruity between what is expected and what actually is; "madness, an ironic fate for such a clear thinker"; "it was ironical that the well-planned scheme failed so completely"

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

Cite This Source

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or thinking about a person you have not seen in a long time and then suddenly running into them at the store.
Coincidence: Thinking of someone you haven't seen in a long time, and suddenly running into them in a store.


Irony: Telling your child someone you haven't seen in a long time now lives in France, and suddenly running into them in a store. (Unless you are currently in France, then substitute a different location.)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously, there are other types of irony, but I am rusty on those.


For situational irony my example is:


The fire station burned down. :D


I like this example.:001_smile:


My eldest son, who is attending UT Austin, gave his own example of irony.


The ending of The Mist (movie).

Edited by LUV2EDU
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is an example of Situational irony:


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



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...