Using the word ‘irony’

I use the word ‘irony’ on occasion. It is a problematic word in that it is often used in a wide variety of ways, some of which do not match its definition in the Oxford English Dictionary that describes it as “cruelly, humorously, or strangely at odds with assumptions or expectations.” Roger Kreuz reports on the work of psychologist Joan Lucariello who classified 28 different usages of the word and grouped them under seven general headings.
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What’s the term for a group of three?

On reading the title of this post, readers would have immediately been able to provide the answer and may have wondered why I was even asking it.

But as I was writing my impressions of Lucia di Lammermoor and the sextet that is sung there, it struck me that while I knew the names for groups of singers of almost all sizes from two to ten (duet (two), quartet (four), quintet (five), sextet (six), septet (seven), octet (eight), nonet (nine), and dectet (ten)), I did not know the term for three singers. So I looked it up and (duh!) it is ‘trio’, a common word that I was very familiar with. After all, the Kingston Trio was a very popular group in my youth.
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Going out in style

Kratu is a dog that has competed multiple times in the agility category at the annual Crufts Dog show held in the UK, where dogs have to maneuver over various hurdles, somewhat like show jumping with horses. Each year he has pleased the crowd with his antics. This year was to be his last year as he is retiring from competitive action and he clearly seems to have decided to really give them a show to remember.

“To hell with competing, I am just going to have fun” seems like a good attitude not just for dogs but for humans as well.

Nice going Kratu!

Brain teaser

I like puzzles that are simple to state and understand. This one is not too difficult.

“There are three boxes. One contains apples. One contains oranges. One contains both apples and oranges.

However, the boxes are mislabeled. One is labeled apples, but contains either oranges or the mix. One is labeled oranges, and contains apples or the mix. And the box labeled Both contains apples or oranges, but not both.

Removing only one piece of fruit from one box, how can you correctly identify all three boxes?”

The puzzling appeal of mementos

Once again we have an utterly absurd fuss ginned up by Republicans over the fact that speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had handed out to various people the pens used to sign the articles of impeachment. I had known that at formal signing ceremonies in the US, the pens that are used to sign the documents become important trophies that are given out as rewards. Barack Obama used 22 pens to sign the Affordable Care Act and Lyndon Johnson used 75 to sign the Civil Rights Act. Donald Trump also gave away dozens of pens after signing the trade pact with China, an event that no one will remember after a few weeks. But I wondered how you could have more than one pen and the above linked article explains what happens.
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