Many people struggle with irony in their writing, despite the media fable that everyone born after 1965 lives a life so deeply entrenched in irony that we can’t handle a direct assertion. Many bloggers are sarcastic and snarky (nastier forms of irony generally intended to deride a specific person) simply because it’s an easy substitute for a fully developed writer’s voice. Irony is a bit more subtle, and that’s why it can cause people trouble.
When it comes to “not getting” irony, there’s one person who comes immediately to mind for many—Alanis Morissette. More than a decade later, her hit song “Ironic” from the 1995 album Jagged Little Pill is still the punch line of scores of irony-related jokes.
If you’re not familiar, Morissette’s song describes various life situations followed by the two questions “Isn’t it ironic?” and “Don’t you think?” The perceived problem with the song is that most if not all of the given examples do not constitute either situational or literary irony.