And no, this post has nothing to do with the 9/11/01 WTC hijack, so calm down.
One of my pet peeves is the misuse of the word "ironic". It was MUCH worse back in the 1990s, but its misuse still carries on to this day. Like David Cross said of the misuse of the word "literally": when you misuse it, you're basically then using it as the exact opposite of its intended meaning.
I think the popularity of the Alanis Morissette song was partially to blame. "Isn't it Ironic? Isn't it Ironic?" No, Alanis. "Rain on your wedding day" and "10,000 spoons when you all you need is a knife" is not ironic. It means having a crappy day or being shit out of luck. The only thing remotely ironic about the song "Ironic" is that it contains no examples of irony.
Personally I think George Carlin put it best in his first book, Brain Droppings. So rather than explaining it myself, I'll just quote his words here:
Irony deals with opposites; it has nothing to do with coincidence. If two baseball players from the same hometown, on different teams, receive the same uniform number, it is not ironic. It is a coincidence. If Barry Bonds attains lifetime statistics identical to his father’s it will not be ironic. It will be a coincidence. Irony is 'a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result.' For instance:
If a diabetic, on his way to buy insulin, is killed by a runaway truck, he is the victim of an accident. If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence. But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah! Then he is the victim of an irony.
If a Kurd, after surviving bloody battle with Saddam Hussein’s army and a long, difficult escape through the mountains, is crushed and killed by a parachute drop of humanitarian aid, that, my friend, is irony writ large.
Darryl Stingley, the pro football player, was paralyzed after a brutal hit by Jack Tatum. Now Darryl Stingley’s son plays football, and if the son should become paralyzed while playing, it will not be ironic. It will be coincidental. If Darryl Stingley’s son paralyzes someone else, that will be closer to ironic. If he paralyzes Jack Tatum’s son that will be precisely ironic.