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Life’s Little Ironies

July 9, 2012

Oh, the IRONY!Here’s a question: How can you have a Liver Clinic without liver docs?

The other day I went for a scheduled appointment with my liver doctor only to find out my doctor, and all of the other hepatologists, left. Hence my question: how do you have a Liver Clinic without docs?

Irony is a great communication tool because it enables you to poke a little fun in a subtle way. Unlike sarcasm, which shows through the voice that you don’t mean what you are saying, irony relies on the listener or reader to pick up on the nuance and know you are not quite serious.

Carl Grapentine, a radio host on Chicago’s WFMT, used irony on Independence Day to introduce one of the pieces to be played that evening at the Pritzger Pavilion. The program was to end with the 1812 Overture. Carl commented what better way to celebrate American independence from England than to play music commemorating a battle between the Russians and the French.

The late Illinois Representative, Doug Hoeft, used to continually poke fun at the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway because, as he always said, it neither goes to Elgin nor O’Hare.

Kathy Rubel, of Public Communications Inc., finds the teen-age use of “friends” to be quite ironic. As she says, the art of face-to-face communication is becoming less of a reality with every new social media app. Teen-agers boast of having 500 friends but how many of them have they ever met in person? The answer is “Two—my parents.”

Irony is great fun for those who understand and enjoy it.  But as one person once said of me; “She’s really nice but she has the strangest sense of humor.”

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