It’s no secret that I consider myself to be a word-nerd. I know the difference among “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” for example. (I also know the difference between “between” and “among,” in case you didn’t notice.) Yeah, I do make the occasional mistake, but I hope very few of them slip through the cracks when I proofread work for clients and all.
Despite my large vocabulary and ability to punctuate, there are some common English language issues that still escape me. As much as I want to understand them, however, I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around proper usage. One of these things is the semi-colon, and I’m *this* close to having that sucker nailed. I think the only real question I have left is the appropriateness of using it as a “super comma” with a conjunction. I did mention the whole word-nerd thing, right?
Another issue that I’ve never been able to completely put to rest is that of situational irony. Thanks to a degree in Theatre Arts and having actually read a decent amount of Shakespeare, I’ve got a great handle on dramatic irony…but situational? I have looked up the definition literally (ooh, I do know how to use the word “literally” correctly) dozens of times. For some reason, however, I just cannot make some sort of very important connection. When people go off about why that one Alanis Morisette song is so not ironic, I just clam up and hope no one looks to me for confirmation. I have serious inadequacy issues when it comes to this concept, people.
So, it did my heart some good when one of my favorite web sites gave me permission to stop haranguing myself over irony. After all, if The Oatmeal says something is cool or uncool, it’s my job as a sheep to throw up my hands and get in line with the stated opinion, right? I have to admit that’s a whole lot easier when I agree with them already!
If you want to feel better about not knowing the ins and outs of irony, or even if you just want a little better understanding of it, check out The 3 Most Common Uses of Irony.