John Fleck pointed out that I shouldn’t argue when people use the word “ironic” to mean “sarcastic or campy,” since language changes over time, and the word is evolving to mean what people use it to mean.

That’s probably true. I understand that Daniel Webster’s wife once caught him screwing the maid, and said she was surprised at his behavior. His response was, pedantically, “No: I am surprised, you are merely astonished.” Nowadays, astonished and surprised mean the same thing, but at the time, surprise was strictly about catching someone unawares, whereas astonishment indicated … anyway.

The point is, this website is now the #1 result for Google searches for “Ironic Mustache.”


  1. The problem with the word ironic is that its definition is a secret closely guarded by people who think they’re really sophisticated.

    (Or maybe just English speakers who aren’t from North America, not that there’s much of a difference.)

    If you can corner one of them into providing a concise definition, they’ll just say it’s when you’re expecting one thing and something else happens.

    And then you’ll say, “Oh, I get it. Such and such situation, right?”

    And then they tell you you don’t get it at all and call you a clumsy American (or sciences major). People changing the meanings of words largely just to put you down.

    I doubt I could provide a good definition myself despite the fact that I tend to laugh more at British humour than American. I don’t let it bother me much.


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