=== Irony and Awkwardness ===
The 90's saw an expansion of the definition of irony from"saying what one doesn't mean" into a "general stance of detachment from life in general"ref This detachment served as a shield against the awkwardness of everyday life. Humor from that era (most notably [[Seinfeld]]) relies on the audience watching the show with some detachment from the show's typical signature awkward situations.
The generation of people in the United States who grew up in the 90's ([[Millennials]]) are seen as having this same sort of detachment from serious or awkward situations in life as well. are thought of as using irony as a shield against those same serious or genuine confrontations.ref== Irony misused ==
The words irony and ironic are often misused.
[[Dan Shaughnessy]] wrote:<blockquote>
We were always kidding about the use of irony. I maintained that it was best never to use the word because it was too often substituted for coincidence. (Alanis Morissette's song "Isn't it Ironic?" cites multiple examples of things that are patently not ironic)ref
Tim Conley cites the following:
"Philip Howard assembled a list of seven implied meanings for the word "ironically", as it opens a sentence:
* By a tragic coincidence
* By an exceptional coincidence
* By a coincidence of no importance
* You and I know, of course, though other less intelligent mortals walk benighted under the midday sun
* Oddly enough, or it's a rum thing that
* Oh hell! I've run out of words to start a sentence with."ref<!-- Please include examples that have citable sources that SAY the example is a misuse of irony-->