In the 1992 Senate election in Alabama, Richard Shelby won a majority in every county in the state except Shelby County. Originally, the article marked it as happening "ironically", though this was reverted for being an incorrect use of the word.

What would the correct word be to describe this situation?

  • I would have used 'ironically'. In my internal dictionary it does not mean 'sarcastically'. Please see Cambridge definition. That is BrE. It gives a different AmE usage more like sarcastic. Oct 22, 2022 at 20:07
  • 1
    It is paradoxical, if not mathematically so. Surprising. Disappointing. And a deliberate slap in the face. Oct 23, 2022 at 0:44
  • It would only be ironic if Shelby were the one county he was strongly expected to win (e.g. it's his home county, so you'd presume he has an advantage). @WeatherVane
    – Barmar
    Oct 24, 2022 at 15:39
  • @Barmar exactly: that's ironic. I can't think how sarcasm would have anything to do with it, unless someone said "Hey, Selby won every county". Oct 24, 2022 at 16:02


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