Sunday, May 11, 2008

Curious about Irony: How Does It Affect Your Life? What Does It Mean to You?

Definition of Irony: A sort of humor, ridicule, or light sarcasm, which adopts a mode of speech the meaning of which is contrary to the literal sense of the words. Incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. An event or result marked by such incongruity. Incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play.

After reading the “irony” quotations of the experts, I came to the conclusion that this is a word that offers a plethora of interpretations and perceptions.

The reason I chose it for today’s theme is that I just experienced what I feel is an ironic outcome. Maybe something similar has happened to you. I design and develop websites. I love doing this – getting to know the subject, using creativity for a pleasing visual effect, and writing winning content, to name a few of my favorite tasks.

However, even though I love the initial challenge all the way up to the final launch of the new website, I am not as keen about the updating (maintenance). It is extremely important to keep a website current, and the updating creates steady income – it just doesn’t hold the fun and excitement of a brand new website.

After a site has been on the Internet for a time, a client will either be approached by another designer or someone within their company who suggests that they would like to take over the changes and updates. This just happened with one of my sites. The group hired a man to take over “Technology.” I have met with him several times. He wants to do it himself – and the irony is that the group is feeling a bit guilty about taking this chore off my shoulders. After meeting with him for several hours, I couldn’t be more delighted with this plan. (Could I have attracted this outcome?)

What ironic situations have happened to you? And, how do you feel about them?

Let me share a few of the wide range of quotations that deal with irony:
  • Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.” - George Saunders, American writer
  • Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony.” - Charles Baudelaire, French poet
  • You know the great irony is that people think you have to have money to enjoy fine food, which is a shame.” - Ted Allen, American entertainer
  • It's no small irony that the government inevitably and invariably ends up promoting precisely that which they would most like to repress.” - Jock Sturges, American photographer
  • Humor is everywhere, in that there's irony in just about anything a human does.” - Bill Nye, American educator
  • A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.” - Jessamyn West, American author
  • Irony is the hygiene of the mind.” - Elizabeth Bibesco, British poet
  • Irony regards every simple truth as a challenge.” - Mason Cooley, American writer

Two more that I enjoyed:

Making a film that's supposed to be fun to watch is really hard - that's the weird irony of it.” - Steven Soderbergh, American director

A tragic irony of life is that we so often achieve success or financial independence after the chief reason for which we sought it has passed away.” - Ellen Glasgow, American novelist