What is irony? My understanding was when an impression of something and the actuality of something are in substantial contrast with each other. Most people seem to believe irony is just a really, really bad coincidence and I wonder if that's right or not, since I guess you could argue the irony is in the contrast between the expectation of how the event should be and what actually happens. Can anyone (english / lit people, looking in your direction) straight up explain this?
And yes, Elysian's thread about fucked up irony triggered this, since I'm not sure it's actually ironic but didn't wanna completely derail that thread.
Irony is pretty clear cut. It basically refers to the strong contrast between one thing and another. For example, a situation where someone criticized muslims for saying that Christians are going to Hell when saying earlier in that conversation that she believes that muslims are going to Hell would be ironic. Irony is based by the incongruity of the two things.
Regardless of your opinion of irony, if you do not agree that irony is about the disparity between two different things, then you are wrong.
The contrast between what is expected and what happens is one of the meanings of irony, but it is not the main.
Some people use "irony" and "ironic" in meanings that are technically incorrect, so I guess I could see some confusion there.