Why Americans don’t get irony


The classic test of an American is, as any Englishman knows, that they don’t understand the difference between sarcasm and irony.  This is why we get songs like “Ironic” (OK I know Alanis is Canadian) where her best shot was:


A traffic jam when you’re already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife


You see perhaps needing a knife would be ironic if, say, you happened to be the world’s largest knife manufacturer but the ten thousand spoons are just unhelpful or perhaps even annoying.


Nor are they sarcastic because I really love Alanis Morisette (now that is sarcastic).


Anyway where does this deep rooted American issue originate from?  Even Microsoft Word isn’t helping..  Check out synonyms for “Ironic” and yep there it is.. sarcastic..
Perhaps we need a new locale 🙂



Comments (7)

  1. Lauro says:

    Funny. I was just about to enter a blog about how the English don’t get sarcasm. 😉

  2. dstrange says:

    now assuming you are American, you might just have managed to say something that is both ironic and sarcastic at the same time so well done.  but you’re Australian aren’t you? 😉

  3. Lauro says:

    He he. Thanks. I am actually from Panama. But I was actually being sarcastic. I love the British peolple, even the Aussies!

  4. JC says:

    The ironic part about the Morisette song is she thinks its ironic.  Don’t you get it?

  5. dstrange says:

    aha JC – a real black-belt in the world of irony there – a double irony I like it – now is that an analogy or a simile or a metaphor? 🙂