Monday, September 27, 2010

Ironically, that's such a coincidence

This has little to do with headlines, but I've always been fascinated by the usagillogical differences between irony and coincidence, and I'm sure I've misused them myself on occasion.

A couple of weeks ago, a newscaster on the radio said, "Ironically, the inventor of 'The Club' was killed today in an automobile accident." I was like "Huh?" What's ironic about that? The Club is designed to prevent auto theft. If it were designed to prevent accidents, that would be ironic. Ditto if somebody bopped him over the head with the Club. I'm not even sure the connection between the auto theft and his demise in an auto accident is coincidental, other than the automotive connection.

Then today I heard on the radio that, again ironically, the man who owns the Segway scooter company died in a Segway scooter accident, when he scooted his scooter over a cliff. (All that scooting was not provided by the newscaster but by yours somewhat truly). Now this would indeed be ironic -- if it were a tragic accident that claimed his life. If, however, this wealthy Segway scooter company owner were depressed because, say, his pants were being sued off by a tutor who tooted a flute but whose scooter ran over his foot, and decided to take his own life by scooting his scooter over a cliff, then there's nothing at all ironic about that.

Coincidentally, I might be a bit depressed about the lack of jobs for people 60-plus in the newspaper business, but I'm not about to drive a Segway scooter over a cliff, or even jump out of my basement window. How ironic is that?*

*Not very.**

**Well, apparently it was a tragic accident that occurred while the Segway Scooter Company owner was out riding on some rough terrain with a special rugged Segway when he went over a cliff and into a river, and was later pronounced dead. So the death is indeed ironic. On the other hand, if his last words were "Oops a daisy," and a few days later he's pushing up daisies, so to speak, that would be coincidental.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, ha, ha. Thanks for the laugh and, coincidentally, the lesson in usage.