Diary Entry – 52
My friend, who was preparing for the GRE, once came and told me he was left aghast when he saw his sister’s face. She had come home from Bangalore and he intended to tell me that he was surprised to see her. But when he told me he was left aghast when he saw her face, I assumed she got a plastic surgery or met with some kind of major accident which left her face severely disfigured.
Misusing English words is not a problem common to only GRE aspirants. This world is full of people who use the word irony to appear intelligent. It is not really a bad thing, if they didn’t massacre it. I remember the time when this Chinese girl from my class happened to meet me three times in three different places on the same day. The third time she met me she said, “Isn’t this ironic. We are meeting for the third time on the same day.” It almost felt like she was accusing me of stalking her. Some of you reading this will have no clue why using the word “irony” is wrong in this context. Let me explain. Let’s say you had a sweet tasting vanilla ice cream which had a cherry and a few peanut flakes on top of it. You eat it with great joy until you start falling terribly sick, which is when you realize that you are allergic to peanuts. In order to get better, you go to get medicines for your allergy. But on the way you get hit by a giant truck and you die on the spot. This is not irony. Even if this truck was carrying peanuts (the thing that you are allergic to), it is not irony. It would just be a coincidence. If however the truck was carrying medicines for your peanut allergy, then that my friend is some bitter irony. Most people however would call it irony even if you got hit by a garbage truck. Now that you know how the word irony is used, you can haunt all those people who find your death ironic.
The other word which happens to be severely misused is the word “feminist”. A feminist is an activist who strives to establish equal opportunities for women socially. They usually strive for protecting women against discrimination in education and in employment. It still happens in our country and there are some women out there who think feminism is bad. If you are a woman who think feminism is bad, you might as well move to a country like Saudi Arabia right now. Most people just assume that a feminist is a lady who likes to dominate men and who think women should rule over the world. People who think that, often get confused when they see a male feminist. Women who enjoy dominating men are called Dominatrix and if I try to explain what a Dominatrix does, my blog will start getting kinky. The point I am trying to make is that don’t try to offend someone by calling them a feminist. Feminism is a good thing, unless you are threatened by woman empowerment. I know Mayawathi and Jayalalitha might concern a lot of men and women, but I assure you that feminism is not about empowering these kinds of women.