Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Isn't it ironic?

First, some linguistic dorkitude.

irony: when words are used to express something other than their actual meaning. Also known as "rhetorical irony."
situational irony: when actual events are completely opposite of what is appropriate or expected.
dramatic irony: when characters in a literary work know less about their situation than does the audience.

And now, the snarkitude.

I like reading cereal boxes. Anytime other than breakfast, you would catch me reading something of more substance (currently I'm having fun motoring through Atlas Shrugged). But in the mornings I'm too sticky-eyed and stupid to read anything other than the backs of cereal boxes. When I was little, I learned a lot about the difference between dry cereal and cereal with milk from the nutrition side panel. When I was particularly bored or lonely, I would read this information aloud. Niacin: 25, 35. Vitamin B6: 25, 25. Vitamin D: 45, 100. What can I say? I was an odd child.

This morning I was reading the back of the Safeway Rice Pockets box. (Rice Pockets are pretty good. I think I'd fail a Rice Pockets vs. Rice Chex taste test.) The Rice Pockets box wished to test my knowledge of literature. Rather, it wished me to play Book Trivia. Dutifully, I played Book Trivia. I aced Book Trivia. And I noticed that one of the questions in Book Trivia referred to an "Ernest Hemmingway."

The Sun Also Rises was not written by Ernest Hemmingway, as Rice Pockets would have me believe. It was in fact written by Ernest Hemingway. Interestingly, there is an IMDB listing for an Ernest Hemmingway. His credits include movies about certain other things that tend to rise, wink wink nudge nudge.

If I were feeling particularly nasty, I would say this is dramatic irony. But I'm tired, so I'll call it a typo. A well-placed one.

(By the way, some say that Alanis Morissette's song "Ironic" is ironic in that none of the situations described in the lyrics is ironic, though all of them objectively suck. For an interesting but brief analysis, see this article on Wikipedia.)

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Ayn Rand was brilliant, I loved all her books, especially "The Fountainhead"!