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I'm under the impression irony is when the opposite of what you expect happens. Someone dies giving a safety presentation, for example. Coincidental, on the other hand, is when merely something unlikely manages to happen.

Here's the situation: A few weeks ago I wore a pair of jeans somewhere. Today my friend asks what pair of jeans I'm wearing, and it happens to be those. He says how ironic that is. I say it's a coincidental, not ironic.

Who's right?

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marked as duplicate by MετάEd, Kristina Lopez, Mitch, FumbleFingers, Hellion Feb 18 '13 at 23:22

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

pure coincidence. there is no opposite expectation. – Dan Feb 18 '13 at 17:17
Depending on how many jeans you own, and how often you wear them, it might not even be that much of a coincidence. – Jon Hanna Feb 18 '13 at 20:39

You are. That is definitely a coincidence. If it were a pair he had told you he disliked the first time, and you put them on the second time to annoy him and asked, "Do you like my jeans?", that would be ironic because you know the opposite is true.

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That wouldn't be ironic, because you're just doing it to annoy him. If he'd spent a great deal of venom on how horrible the jeans were, and then the next time three different people came up just to say how good they looked, that'd be slightly ironic. But only slightly. There's not a lot of room for irony in wearing jeans. Unless maybe they were the only pair of clothes you still owned after your small tailors business had its premises bought out from under you by a jeans seller. – Jon Hanna Feb 18 '13 at 22:31
Some people do iron their jeans. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 18 '13 at 22:59
Or what if you are in the habit of going commando, and the first time you wore the jeans there was a ghastly rip in them, exposing your hairy crack. The second time you wore them, your friend had invited you to a meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Modest Clothing. Would that be ironic? – rhetorician Feb 19 '13 at 1:47

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