Isn’t It Ironic

Irony is totally misunderstood and misused. Many times I’ve had people relate a story and then say, “Isn’t that ironic?” And I want to say, “Why no, it’s not. You know, if you go by the definition of irony.” But I wouldn’t do that because I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings.
Many people use, ‘that’s so ironic’, when they mean something is weird or silly or funny.
This also crops up a lot in writing, so if I use that phrase, I usually make sure it is truly ironic. But I will admit, I’ve used the phrase incorrectly even though I know how to use it.

Image courtesy of Natara /

So today, I’ll give the definition of irony and then show an example that happened in real life–which was totally funny to me, along with being ironic.
According to, Irony is an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.
A few weeks ago, we decided to replace our dryer. I was home when the 2 guys from Best Buy delivered and set it up. When all was done, the guy explained everything and asked if I had any questions.
He told me not to use dryer sheets because the lint collector doesn’t need one, and that the particles from dryer sheets actually clog up the filter.
No problem, cause I rarely use them.
Later that afternoon, I pick of the pile of papers he left behind: copy of delivery receipt, dryer manual… and out falls a sample of Bounce dryer sheets.
Yes, a few hours before he told me not to use dryer sheets, and then he left behind a sample of dryer sheets.
I rolled my eyes. Not because of him, because he’s just one guy who works for Best Buy and I liked him—he had a good sense of humor and was very helpful. The Bounce thing wasn’t his decision.
But someone at Best Buy made some deal with Bounce to include dryer sheets with their dryers, when it’s recommended NOT to use dryer sheets.
I did not expect to find dryer sheets after being told not to use them.
That is irony.
Do you sometimes use the phrase ‘that’s so ironic’ incorrectly? You can admit it; we won’t think any less of you. 🙂

13 Responses

  1. Oh I’m sure I use it all the time. That Alanis Morissette song ‘Ironic’ is always being slated for not really being ironic, but I think some of her examples are!

  2. Is it ironic if a person dies of thirst while stranded on a boat in the middle of the ocean? I’ve always struggled with that one…cause he’s surrounded by water. But it’s not like he could have drank it. But still…idk.

  3. I remember having a conversation about irony (in relation to the Alanis Morissette song that gets attacked all the time), and the person I was talking to STILL got it wrong. We both agreed that “rain on your wedding day” just sucks, but is not ironic. But then my conversation partner said, “No, what would be ironic would be if it rained on your wedding day . . . AND YOUR DAD WAS A WEATHERMAN.” What? How is that any more ironic?

    Maybe rain on your wedding day could be ironic if you put down your foot and said “I do not want it to rain on my wedding day, so I will go out of my way to have the wedding in a place that hardly ever gets rain.” And then you drag your wedding party out to a dry city in Arizona, get everything set up, and that’s the one day it rains. I think that’d be pretty ironic, since you have a reason to expect it not to happen and then it happens.

  4. I agree that irony is great but can be tough to pull off! And I love it in writing, but there it is even harder to do well. Without physically having someone in front of you, you need to convey tone and demeanor well enough to your reader so they feel in on the joke. But when it’s done well, it is great!

  5. I love irony…. It really adds so much to our writing and our lives. Just think how boring life would be without it…

    Hey, Suzi…

    How are you? I hope all is well. Writing anything new? How’s the querying going?

  6. i totally kno irony. but i kno what you mean about some using it wrong. an its coincidental (not ironic) that u are talking about new appliances as my washer is about dead! argh!

    made me think of the song too =)

  7. Rachel Schieffelbein

    Lol! I tend to avoid that word, even though I think I know how to use it. I always worry I’ll get it wrong. 😉

  8. I need to pay more attention. I think I’ve been using it correctly, but now I’m going to be second guessing myself:)

    Great post and I hope you enjoy your dryer-sheet-free dryer:D

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