Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Defining Irony

You wrote about capital punishment and caning? Then, you've got to ask yourself:
"Do I feel lucky?"

The dictionary defines irony as the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. In order to better illustrate this point, here are 10 recent, real life scenarios:

1) A local newspaper publishes a random excerpt from Diary of An Expat in Singapore. Funnily enough, they choose the most controversial bit. It's okay, I've got my valise ready. "It was a good run. Really liked those dumplings."

2) Being chosen as key note speaker at a business conference for entrepreneurs after approaching them for marketing tips. Quickest promotion ever. You can't make this stuff up.

3) Worrying that people I wrote about in the book would be offended. The only people offended were the ones not mentioned. "What, you had nothing bad to say about Americans in the Politically Incorrect Expat Profiling chapter? As an American, I find that offensive."

4) Adding your book to a popular reader website because a friend recommends it as a good way of getting publicity. Not for the fainthearted.

5) Your Dad liking the book but also compiling a list of mistakes/unclear points he wants to go over with you next time he sees you. Sudden flashbacks to those, oh so joyous times, when he tried teaching you to tell time in the first grade. (The fact that after looking at the clock you randomly guessed: "Two? Three-thirty? Five?" didn't help).

6) Post-publishing book placement. Business? If you say so. Biography? Possibly. Military Highlights? I'm going to have to go with no.

7) Singaporeans telling you they really liked your book...after everybody has already left the book launch. Flattering yet slightly mystifying. I guess you didn't hear when the question "Do Singaporeans like your book?" came up. Repeatedly.

8) Random people sharing with you their ideas for a book. (Thanks, but newsflash, I'm the author not the publisher.)

9) Receiving the most awesome feedback ever: "I feel like I know you." But also getting asked: "Would you ever consider...(What? Being on TV? Having my own talk show?)...helping my son with his SAT's?"

10) Relatives still waiting for their free copy. "I have no free copies. I would actually have to buy it for you." (Sure, you would. We'll just wait.)