Internet IronyPosted by Jessica Oman
In high school, the concept of irony was lost on me. It wasn’t until university that the light bulb went off and I started to understand what it meant and how it could add such depth to great writing. Now, I use it regularly myself, along with other literary devices, and I enjoy the process of crafting deftly ironic passages. But sometimes, the irony is not in what I write, but in how people respond to it.
I recently entered a small business contest, WE Mastermind, where I hope to win a business development package that will help me expand the editing side of Write Ahead so that it has a global reach. In my entry, I intentionally misspelled two words – “sppeling” and “erors” – for literary effect. Somewhat sadly, many readers didn’t get it. Instead, some posted inquisitive comments asking if I meant to misspell those words (okay, I don’t blame you for asking – at least you picked up on it). Others were downright rude, posting sarcastic comments on some of my LinkedIn groups to the tune of “maybe you should learn to spell first” and the like.
I’ll happily extend a golf clap to these folks for thinking they caught Write Ahead committing a spelling blunder. Sure, it happens from time to time, and I appreciate when people point it out with intelligence and politeness. They are giving me an opportunity to fix a small error and ensure no harm is done to my brand. But the real irony here is when readers have the opposite reaction to what I intended them to comprehend, and then look foolish by rudely – and very publicly, I might add – pointing out two spelling mistakes which, I assure you, are supposed to be there.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a word snob, and I quite enjoy defending my choice of wording or figurative language in any domain, public or private. But let’s keep it professional, folks!