24 Comments

  1. I think we’re fighting a lost battle. In the minds of the great unwashed, “ironic” means “that sucks”.

  2. I think we’re fighting a lost battle. In the minds of the great unwashed, “ironic” means “that s**ks.”

  3. I suppose the kid could go to the door and say to the customer “I’ve got some bad news and some bad news – the bad news is written in all the articles and headlines in your newspaper, and the bad news is I have inadvertently scattered all of it across the slushy snow”.

  4. Or that this issue of the newspaper includes a survey to fill out about the quality of the delivery service.

  5. I think it could be ironic in the sense that the act of the rubber band popping caused the actual scattering, whereas if there never was a rubber band, the creases in the paper without extra force may have held together.

  6. The Lunatic is in the hall. The lunatics are in my hall. The paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and everyday the paperboy brings more.

  7. Actually, defining how people *misuse* “ironic” is actually subtler and more elusive than defining how to use it correctly. It doesn’t actually mean “it sucks” but it means … something and this strip *is* using it as it commonly is and it *almost* seems okay, but I’ll be damned if I can define what he means by it.

  8. “woozy, is there really only one way to misuse the word?”

    Well, sometimes but sometimes there’s a common and “correct” way to misuse a word.

    Speech works that people as a group interpret and acquire meanings to sounds and as a group they agree what it means. Now people may use it wrong but in doing so it collectively takes on a wrong but consistent and common meaning. “Literally” is used consistent to mean “extremely” and for about seven years in the late eighties and early 90s “bogus” came to mean “nasty and unfair in a slightly dishonest or calculating way”.

    “Ironic” as the kid here uses *does* have a common and consistent meaning. But as difficult and vague as it is to define “ironic” in the correct usage, defining “ironic” in the incorrect usage is more difficult and vaguer. (And that’s pretty “ironic”).

    I mean the kid means …. something … but what exactly? Something to do with it being appropriate that the newspapers fall to bits because they are just bad news anyway.

  9. Yeah, “fittingly” is a sense that “ironic” has taken on.

    I realized that when I was trying to understand a young person’s use of “ironic” that puzzled me, and mostly came down to “coincidentally”. But I realized I was having trouble with it because it was not the other one I had gotten used to, and I needed a term to identify that one — hence “fitting”/

  10. I think this strip deserves a “geezer” tag for having a little kid delivering the newspaper (and for the “rubber band”). These days, most papers are rolled in a plastic sleeve (for protection from wet weather), and are thrown out of a car window by an adult, who has zero contact with the victims of his direct to bush and/or gutter throws, because billing is performed by the central office.

  11. Well, his parents are from the 50’s (Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver with a stay at home mom who prepares dinner in a dress, high heels, and apron), but the kid is into the space program, so that pushes it up into the 60’s.

  12. According to Wikipedia, one strip referenced the movie “Jaws” from 1975, but in general seems to be somewhat earlier.

  13. Wikipedia also states that his mother works part-time at the community college as an administrator. Her look is much more late 60s, early 70s than 50s.

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