I wrote a blog post this morning and before I realized it I typed the word “irony” into a sentence. I stopped and wondered if the usage was correct. I visited a couple of decent websites for the definition and explanation on correct usage of that dastardly word.
Now I have a question. In the following example is the usage of irony correct?
A woman is riding a bicycle through the park. She stops to watch some young children tossing rocks into the lake. Later that evening the same woman is seated at the dining room table having a meal with friends. Some local hoodlums throw a rock at her window.
Coincidence? Of course. The question is was this an ironic coincidence?
A second example:
A woman is getting ready for work as a child care provider. Lately she has been feeling restless and wonders if a job change might help. Although not a religious person she looks out at the morning sky and says a little prayer for direction and an answer to her dilemma. Later that day a child gives her a gift. The child did a project at school on all saints day. Their assignment was to choose someone in their lives who they felt deserved sainthood. The child had picked the daycare worker because she was always helping others. The woman took this as an answer to her prayer and continued in her childcare role.
Again, coincidence? Of course. This I would call a “pleasant” coincidence in the context of the story. But is there anything ironic about it?
What do you think? How do you use the word “ironic” correctly? Do you have any simple rules that help remember the rule?