Isn’t it ironic? Most likely not.

Can you tell? Go ahead — take a crack at it, champ.

1. Arthur’s last name is shoemaker, and he is a shoemaker.

2. The fear of long words is “hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia.” (ya, rly)

3. The fisherman hates fish.

4. You just found out you and your coworker went to the same high school and also had a cat named “Charlie.”

5. Rain on your wedding day…or really any example from Alanis Morissette’s song.

[Answers posted at the end.]

Remember the last time you heard someone use “ironic?” Chances are they were probably wrong. What makes me so jaded to the human capacity for the word? The sheer number of times I’ve gotten into altercations over whether the person meant ironic or coincidence.

Ok, so they were verbal altercations but that doesn’t derive from the majority’s aptitude for using “ironic” over “coincidence.” So once and for all:

Coincidence: When two unlikely situations share similarities

Situational Irony: When the end of a situation is nearly the opposite of what you expected


1. Coincidence

2. Ironic

3. Ironic

4. Coincidence

5. As for Alanis Morissette’s examples…move along — there’s nothing ironic here, folks.

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