Monday, March 31, 2008

Iron and Irony

Apparently the etymology of "iron" goes back through the Celtic language to an early time in what we now call England or Britain and is linked to the word iren, with an accent on the e. Irony, on the other hand, is of Greek origin: {epsilon}{ilenis}{rho}{omega}{nu}{epsilon}{giacu}{alpha} ‘.

On the surface, however, it does look as if iron is embedded in irony. Extrapolated from this etymologically ironic situation, one could, I suppose, manufacture other outcomes from other metals. That is, one kind of irony comes in the form of unintended consequences--a twist of fate.

A goldy, therefore, might be a surprisingly wonderful outcome, an unknotting of fate. A leady would be a disappointment--heavy, sure, but nothing like irony.

A silvery would be less then wonderful but still satisfactory. "You know, I have to say that the end result was at least silveric if not entirely goldic."

What would a steely be, as a noun? Would it be an extremely strong version of an irony? I think so. "Oh, how steelic that was," we'd say, "almost too ironic to bear."

A tinny would be a cheapened outcome or situation, I assume--as a sequel in Hollywood is almost always a cheapening of the original. "I found Big Explosion II to be a tinnic version of the original. Big Explosion I was explosive and big in such an original way."

A coppery, as a noun, would be a softening of a situation, an easing of tensions. "The diplomatic talks were regarded as copperic by all parties involved."

We run into some syllabic complexity with an aluminumy, which would be a lightening of a situation, perhaps almost a giddiness. "He won the lottery--how aluminic!" If the giddiness occurred in a play, it would be dramatic aluminy, which I don't think Aristotle covered in the Poetics, ironically enough.
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