Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Coincidentally, That’s Not Really Ironic: Words Gone Wild

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” ~Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

Had Tupac said that? That would be the realest sh*t he ever spoke. Against all odds.

Inigo Montoya don't even know that he's my nword. He totally is though.

Inigo Montoya don’t even know that he’s my nword. He totally is though.

When tons of people send me the same article, I pay attention. Such was the case with this article that got passed around the Ninjanet (and clearly the Non-Ninjanet) since it dropped on Monday entitled “10 Words That You’ve Probably Been Misusing”.

As the title suggests, its a list of words that people are…misusing. Real spit, I actually learned something from this list. I’ve been using the word “travesty” wrong. Or at least wrong-ish. And I totes never knew what “enormity” really meant though as the author suggested, I’m perfectly fine using it as a word that tends to mean biggerness.

That rhymes with Tigger Dress. #BARS

Well there’s one particular misused word that people f*ck up on a daily basis. In fact, right before writing this post I had an at least 20 minute debate about this word:

2) Ironic

What you may think it means: a funny coincidence

What it actually means: contrary to what you might expect

It’s not ironic that you bumped into a talking turtle in a sweater vest right after you told your friend how cool it would be to bump into a talking turtle in a sweater vest. It’s a coincidence, and believe it or not, those two words are not related. Also, you should probably lay off the drugs because I’m pretty sure animals shouldn’t be talking.

Can we rap for a second? We can? Good. Cool.

Why the f*ck do so many people struggle with irony? Seriously, that’s a real question. If irony were a person, it’s theme song would be Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The debate I had this evening? It was based on the usage that I’m fairly certain that at least 95 percent of the dark community perpetuates….A coincidence.

“Ironically speaking…”

Every time I hear that I IMMEDIATELY wait for a coincidence to saunter through the lips of the word criminal. It’s so common though…it’s just like conversate and irregardless. Two other words we all know get misused commonly since they don’t actually exist. Which begs the question, can you misuse something that doesn’t exist in the first place?

Dizzamnayee.

I think I just f*cked up the space-time continuum spectrum magnum opus triumvirae magna carta holy grail pimp chalice.

By the way, while “conversate” gets the red misspelled word line, “irregardless” does not. How you like them apples? And how you like your eggs…fried or fertilized?

All that to say, we might need to get deeply educated today. See, I’m fairly certain that on the list in the article, there are at least 3 words that most folks had no idea they were using wrong in the slightest: travesty, peruse, and redundant. Notice I said most. I’m sure some of you clearly know what all the words mean and use them properly at all times…after the hurricane.

A tree stands…after the hurricane. <—- Name that reference. 10 Kool-Aid points to the first person to get that right.

So let’s do some thinking today…what OTHER words get misused that people don’t eeeen know it. You need not pop a molly to participate, just a two palms with phalanges and a keyboard. I was trying to make a two turntables and a mic parallel but it worked much better in my head.

Oh well…anyway, good people of VSB…what other words can you think of that people have been misusing. This is harder than you think. Trust me. But its a field day for you word denizens (did I use that right?)

Let us inform and educate. Infucate.

(By the way, Infucate is a word already that means to stain or paint. Motherf*cker.)

Happy Friday.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. I’M NOT THE WORD NAZI aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • BreezyX2

    Skype-ing and trying to read your post is a task I can not master. I shall return later.

    • Todd

      Who are you getting nekkid for Breezy? :)

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        …And somewhere in America, Miss Breezy is still twerking

        *Twerk Breezy, Breezy twerk*

        • BreezyX2

          There you go. Your suppose to be on you’re best behavior around these e-streets now :)

      • BreezyX2

        *rolls over and wipes dribble from mouth* LOL! Actually, I literally fall asleep on Skype while conversating. Irregardless of what you may think and whatnot :)

    • panamajackson

      you better step your multitaskery in this dancery game up.

      • BreezyX2

        I shall :)

  • Cheekie Mae

    SUNDAY IS FUNDAY! Aka Cheek Day!! It’s gone be hot like FIYAHHHHH!!!!

    Inflammable. <— another word that doesn't mean what y'all think it means.

    Rawr.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      happy vsbirthday since i can easily say it again on twitter

    • Todd

      Narcissist. :)

    • Kema

      *sings* Go Cheekie… its your birthday! Go Cheekie… its your birthday! *totally expects you to twerk/percolate to this*

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      Cheek Day, you say? Hmmm….

    • panamajackson

      Happy Early Berfday. *and it’s not even your birthday* CAKECAKECAKECAKECAKE.

  • LMNOP

    Remember that song “isn’t it ironic?” that was all filled with examples of things that are not ironic at all “like rain on your wedding day or a free ride when you already paid.”

    • Cheekie Mae

      Oh Alanis! I thought it was brilliant since it totally was using irony wrong… which was ironic since you expected it to actually be about irony. ;)

      • panamajackson

        Right, isn’t it ironic that the song titled “ironic” isn’t actually ironic at all??

    • Kema

      *scream sings* I don’t care! I love it!

      Ironic is one of my favorites.

      • LMNOP

        I mean I know all the examples because I had that CD when I was 13 and they had just invented CDs. But even then I was like “wait. how is rain on your wedding day ironic? isn’t that just bad luck?”

      • BreezyX2

        Yes, Alanis’s voice is so hauntingly awesome. Beautiful picture by the way Kema!

    • http://recklessactsofpunctuation.tumblr.com/ dtafakari
  • SR

    How ‘ironic’ is it that i had just finished reading that article before i headed over for my nightly dose of VSB….

    • LMNOP

      Not at all, lol.

      • panamajackson

        Good.Damn.Job. #wellplayed

  • http://brothatech.com/ BrothaTech

    Doesn’t quite fit with the subject but maaan, it burns me up when people say “All intensive purposes” I just bite my tongue [off] and keep nodding my head like I heard anything they said after that.

    • LMNOP

      It sounds so similar and is pretty much always used “correctly”, so I only realized some people were saying this after I saw it written several times. I’ve noticed a bunch of words and expressions that a lot of pretty smart seeming people mess up.

      • Sahel

        Oh the irony

        • LMNOP

          a travesty of the English language

          • Sahel

            There is going to be an influx of English Majors today on VSB lol

            • LMNOP

              some of the best people to conversate with about english words.

            • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

              **waves English degree** i KNEW I would have a use for it SOMEDAY!!

              • panamajackson

                VSB…where English majors don’t have to go to grad school to matter.

                • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

                  **looks at two master’s degrees on my wall and sighs**

                  • http://recklessactsofpunctuation.tumblr.com/ dtafakari

                    BURN. I got an MA in English, too. (bangs head against degrees on wall). True to the VSB book, them mugs do NOT keep me warm at night.

                    • Todd

                      Well, my graduate education does, despite all of my personal issues. I have two words for all you liberal arts majors…SUCK IT! LOL

                    • http://recklessactsofpunctuation.tumblr.com/ dtafakari

                      The hubs is a chemist. I get the the STEM is the Greatest Group of Fields of All Time I’MALETYOUFINISH speech at least once a week. He is lucky I do s*ck it. :::i hate frickin obnoxious STEM majors::: Don’t call me when you need your publication proofread. hmph!

                    • Todd

                      At least your degree isn’t in communications. During happier times in my marriage, I would bring up the famous Simpsons “Communications” speech to my wife. We all know Communications is a phony major, right? LOL

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDMKXFeBNVU

                    • http://recklessactsofpunctuation.tumblr.com/ dtafakari

                      That’s a funny clip, but i half wish i had minored in Comm. There are a LOT of jobs for corporate communications and they want a Comm major, not an English one.

                    • Todd

                      Wait a sec? There are people who major in something primarily so that they can spend their time drunk, high, humping and/or partying AND can somehow end up with a good job after that?

                      *cries real tears*

                    • Sahel

                      Lol,Todd is in the lead today

                    • PhlyyPhree

                      My heart just like my wallet after that Sallie Mae deduction, gently weeps.

                    • Sahel

                      You know,the US govt has to do something about student debt. People i know finish school and dont get jobs but their debt keeps rising

                    • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

                      YASS GIRL!!! Dont talk ish about our Liberal Arts majors then ask us to proofread nann!!!! My hustle in college AND post grad was charging to write STEM’s LibArt papers…..so YEW CAN PUT THAT IN YO JUICEBOX AND SUCKONIT!!

                    • Todd

                      Hey, I was a copy editor on a couple of newspapers in college. Plus I’ve taken advantage of the huge number of non-native speakers of English in STEM fields to hustle my way into opportunities. Oh, and I spent most of my college career as a prominent columnist for a bunch of newspapers.

                      Some people just beez multi-talented like that. Even if I can barely draw past stick figures and couldn’t paint a straight line if my life depended on it. LOL

                    • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

                      Ure a rare creature Todd. You wonderful unicorn you!!!

                    • WIP

                      “He is lucky I do s*ck it.”
                      Done. LOL”

                    • 321mena123

                      Liberal arts has served me well. Not everyone is cut out for the STEM. We need to stop pushing this down people’s throats.

                    • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

                      Honestly, I was an English and Art double major for two very simple reasons: I could paint well, and I could write well. My professional degrees are more for my career than my undergrad ones were.

                    • 321mena123

                      Same here.

                    • http://www.NextStepEducation.org/ Bunni

                      It’s hard out here in these literary skreets.

      • panamajackson

        Thing is, if you say “intents AND purposes” right…it doesnt sound like “intensive” purposes. I think most folks just really have no damn clue what they’re saying.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    Okay, this first one is a phrase but it really bugs me because almost everyone says it wrong.

    People say: “I love her ‘to death’.

    Should say: I love her ’til death’. Like I love her until death do us part.

    Words

    - Literally; People use it to mean it’s the truth, when it means word for word or exactly as.

    - Nonplussed; People think it means not caring about something or not bothered, when it really means confused by something.

    • LMNOP

      I always wondered where “I love her to death” came from…

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        I guess people are just hearing ‘to’ instead of ’til’.

    • Cheekie Mae

      The “literally” misuse makes my cuticles hurt.

      NOT literally tho. It feels like that sometimes because UGH. It’s so overused. And wrongly.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        I know, right. And, not only do some people misuse the word but they overuse it too.

    • panamajackson

      Yo…this comment literally non-plussed me. But word to big bird, i love you to death, Val. #spelhouse

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Very nice. Lol.

  • nillalatte

    PJ, You are terrific! Always a travesty as you peruse the ironic and enormity to nauseous, redundant conversate. I am compelled to be bemused. *rubs hands* I think I’ve made my point! :P Happy Friday.

    • LMNOP

      Impressive use and/or misuse of every single word on that list.

      • nillalatte

        Thank you. Thank you very much. Word play or play with words? Literary confusion.

    • Kema

      Well played!

    • panamajackson

      I enjoyed this. If you were to say to me, “enjoy deez” i would respond with, “i will”.

  • I Am Your People

    I LITERALLY died laughing reading this

    • nillalatte

      *code blue!* Get the crash cart! Paddles! Clear! Hit it again! Clear! Okay, normal sinus rhythm. Phew… that was close. I normally don’t resuscitate just anyone!

      • Sahel

        What,no mouth to mouth resuscitation Doctor

        • nillalatte

          You’d better pray for a nurse in a real emergency! :P Besides, I just don’t put my mouth on anyone. lol

          • Sahel

            You can put your mouf on me,i don’t have cavities

            • nillalatte

              Ewww…. they teach resuscitation for circulatory only now. I’ll keep your blood moving, but you gotta find your own oxygen. LOL

              • Sahel

                So if i point out an area with low blood circulation you have to resuscitate it

                • nillalatte

                  new word for you… panderer! Good night.

                  • Sahel

                    And you lady are a coquette

    • Dignan 2

      IAYP, can I assume that you watch Parks And Rec?

      If you don’t, that show has a character that LITERALLY uses the word literally in every possible wrong context.

    • panamajackson

      RIP. She just killed the club.

  • DG

    I’m sure folks are gonna think of quite a few misused words, let alone non-words…but I’m gonna go ahead and use the platform to throw out a quick PSA:

    The “L” in “SALMON?” Homie is silent like a mug. While we’re at it, minus well (lol) throw that “W” in “SWORD” in there for good measure. Both them hoes get pronounced way too often.

    Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming…

    • nillalatte

      You must not be from the South! Of course, Salmon has an “L” in it, but in the Souf it ain’t silent! :D

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      Unless it’s Salmon Rushdie.

    • Kema

      Hmmm… what about words that can be said in more than one way.

      Ex. Pecan

      • Todd

        *cries real tears*

        • SweetSass

          Literally?

      • Londa

        I just had that caramel battle this weekend. I pronounced it “car-ah-mel”. My family laughed and laughed at me and said I was bougie. They were like, it’s “CAR-mel”. I was like, it depends on your preference, it can be either way.
        So, they wanted to solve it like we solve alot of things: “How would Grandma have pronounced it?” I lost the battle. (But, not in my mind.)
        Of course, my grandma also called spaghetti, “s’getti”. Sheesh.

        • WIP

          Yes! car-ah-mel sounds right to me- much better than CARmel. who the he11 talks like that?

    • panamajackson

      I work with two individuals – both former Marines for what its worth – who ALWAYS pronounce the silent “L”. Folks, salmon…if there’s a silent L, they’re saying it.

    • KitKatCuty84

      You know what H ISN’T silent, though? “HUMBLE”. There’s an H on that bad boy. In the South, people like to say “UMBLE” and I die inside.

      • WIP

        BOL!

      • http://recklessactsofpunctuation.tumblr.com/ dtafakari

        “Umble” just begs to be uttered by a pastor in a pin-striped suit with suspenders.

    • BreezyX2

      I also would like to submit the book of “Psalms” to the silent L list.

      • SweetSass

        Actually there is an L sound — its not a hard L… otherwise it would be ‘Sams’.

  • LMNOP

    I think conversate will make the dictionary within the next 20 years. It’s a good word, or word in training, or whatever we call words that aren’t words yet, a phoneme?

    • h.h.h.

      “conversate” is technically a ‘back-formation’…where, more or less, a word shortened from a longer word…for example… ‘babysit’, curate, diagnose…back-formations.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      Conversate is literally an official word now.

      http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/converse

      (see what I did there)

    • panamajackson

      It’s already in there.