I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Friday, 31 May 2013

A chronic illness, I fear

As a British blogger I play the irony game. But then I have no choice. Irony is all we Brits have left.

Canadians have more temperate weather, Americans a quieter reputation, France is more sympathetic, Greeks have better-organised government,  Chad arboriculture is way ahead, Germans understand water, Belgian identity is envied, Inuits make better cocktails (because of the ice).

We Brits must make do.

Irony is frequently misunderstood. It can get people into trouble as you will see.

Here I'm about to make a parenthetical aside and I'm torn by a dilemma: should I or should I not say parentheses are those curvy things top right on the keyboard? I guess not. Thus my parenthetical question: what is the theroretical aim of blogging? My answer: to entertain. Thus if lying is funnier is one entitled to lie? Please agree. It will make my job so much easier.

Back to irony. Its civil-marriage partner (in Britain at least) is understatement. Combine this with lying (which you have already agreed to) and the resultant post may seem way out. Inexplicable. You may feel like withdrawing your diplomats - a popular move, an end to their living it up in the West End of London.

Why am I agonising? Ironising? I recently practised irony on someone in the blogosphere and I think - I can't be sure - that person snapped. There are clues. A belief that the irony arrived like an iron girder to the head. Pain rather than a funny fizzle.

My non-parenthetical question: since irony is as vital to me as my lungs should I give up? Always remember - by saying yes you may be the next to suffer.

14 comments:

Lucy said...

Being elliptical brings its problems too, for bears of little brain who don't know whether they ought to be paying attention to what you're saying or whether they can just scratch their heads and get back to their knitting!

I had hoped to be able to pun on the over-use by bloggers of ellipses, but it would seem that the state of being elliptical is not known as ellipsis. Pity...

Roderick Robinson said...

Lucy: No troubles with you, then.

Ellena said...

You may correct my English. Here it goes: your irony is like a chameleon, it sometimes appears as rudeness.

Ellena said...

I had to google words in Lucy's comment (of course). I wish mine were as poetic.

Tom said...

I fink your all really, really clever, Lucy and Ellena and Robbie. Me? Well, this all jus' makes me 'ead 'urt. Can yer say it all agin Robbie? Slowly this time.

Roderick Robinson said...

All: I made this delighted inference: that none of you imagined for a heart-beat you were the person referred to in the post. And of course your massive self-confidence was (is) well placed.

Lucy: (post lunch). This was almost too good. For the whole of the time it took to eat my toast slices smeared with egg mayo and scattered with dried onion I was convinced I had unearthed a most generous, yet multi-layered euphemism. Which worked this way:

Ellipticism, a five-dollar word for obscure...
... otherwise badly executed...
... as a result of being badly conceived...
... the direct outcome of a poor education ...
... and a shockingly casual upbringing
... leading to a consensual recommendation...
... that I reappear as Barrett Bonden.

Nah, it wasn't that. What was more likely is that I don't really understand what irony is. No great problem since I took great care to ensure I am now accepted as a liar.

But might an elliptical statement turn into an ironic gesture if it were sent to someone known to be deeply intelligent and quick witted: Carol Vorderman, for instance (the suggestion, I must confess, comes to me third-hand).

That's enough for you, I'm in danger of digging deeper.

Ellena: Perfectly possible. But what should I do about it? Become a naturalised Manitoban?

Tom: You must bring a halt to these circular voyages under the drapeau de convenance of being an innocent abroad. Your profile says you are a physicist, or are interested in physics; if you are flaunt it. If you're fibbing then I suggest, you open your posts with a suitable caveat.

The Crow said...

Oh, heavens, NO! Under no circumstances (unless threat of imminent death) should you give up irony.

It is the foundation of all matters scientific, political and creative - it is, as you have noted - the air we all breathe.

Ellena said...

Not Manitoban. Become a 'Quebecois Pure Laine' or 'Quebecois de Souche'.
You do like challange.

Joe Hyam said...

(What on earth is all this about?) He wondered lonely as a crowd. (He or "he" perhaps, not entirely certain of his identity. (What he is trying to say is why is it being said?) Of course it is simply that he wants to get his oar in preferably ex parenthesis. To put it simply irony is at its best when it is not understood by its target, which may be at the root of your problem.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ellena rocks! And I'm going to drink a pint of quality ale now and ponder ...

Roderick Robinson said...

The Crow: I'm sure you mean scepticism but never mind. Ironic beasts soon lack all support (see Ellena's first comment) but I'm pleased by the tiny sound of clapping all the way from Pa. and feel emboldened to face up to another day.

Ellena: Oh, I'd fit right in (except I'd be far taller than any of them). What's more I actually know what souche means wihout looking it up. Now I've admitted in public to lying, however, I realise this isn't saying much.

Joe: The target's innocence - I'd never thought of that. Oars and their prior insertion - yes you know me well.

RW (zS): Ah, so I've been rude to you too. But all's fair in the rough and tumble of bloggery.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ach nein! I don't recall you ever being rude to me. I meant that I'm going to ponder irony ... I wish it were more appreciated here where I am.

Roderick Robinson said...

Re (zS): Don't do it, I beg of you. Irony's for old dried-up, crabby, misanthropic ghouls like me. The list of your qualities would fill this page but here's a start: good-hearted, full of encouragement, a multi-linguist (who doesn't flaunt it), lovable, an internationalist, cheerful, passionate, angry when it's needed, tolerant otherwise, able to stand my teasing without losing your rag, instructive, the best of Germany, the best of the US... That's enough. I'll send you a cardboard template in the post.

Only known defect: a bit soppy from time to time, but the ounce of soppiness is outweighed by a ton of good stuff.

PS: I had to put in soppiness, you know. People might get ideas.

The Crow said...

No, I meant irony, Robbie. Verbal irony. Skepticism is my default approach to the world, but irony makes life more interesting, more amusing. (This is not to say I’m using irony correctly, or as the English might; just my take on it.)

I’d like to add religions to my list. Forgot them earlier.