Let’s face it – many people get confused by Irony. A lot of people don’t really know what it is – some have been heard to say that they think it’s like Gold-y and Bronze-y, only made of Iron. For me Irony is something I do on a Sunday morning to my work-shirts (groan)
Alanis Morissette famously showed that she had no understanding of the word in her song “Ironic” (itself quite ironic, i suppose):
It's like rain on your wedding day – no, that’s just bad luck
It's a free ride when you've already paid – no that’s just stupid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take – again, with the stupid
A lot of people get confused between Irony – “the perceived notion of an incongruity between what is said and what is meant; or between an understanding of reality, or an expectation of a reality, and what actually happens” and sarcasm – “stating the opposite of an intended meaning especially in order to sneeringly, slyly, jest or mock a person, situation or thing.”
For example King Charles 1st England probably regretted his moment of sarcasm when, responding to Oliver Cromwell’s question about wanting to spend the rest of the life in the Tower of London, he replied, “No actually, I’d rather have my head chopped off”
Take my example – a few years ago I moved into my current home. On the very first day I saw the place there was a big black cat in the garden and ever since that day he has been sneaking into the house, demanding to be fed with his friend the little white cat – both mysteriously popping up (as previously mentioned) and getting in the way when I was convinced they had been thrown out.
However, the other day my neighbour (whose cats they are), came round and asked me if, as he was away from home so much these days, would I mind taking in the cats and considering them mine. Being very fond of both cats, and secretly having let the black one sleep over more than once, I said “yes, no problem”
That was three days ago and I haven’t seen either cat since, despite frequent nightly calls for them to come in and be fed.
Now that’s ironic.