Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Irony, thy name is—ouch!

It's hard to believe, but I've actually managed to physically injure my sense of irony.

Monday night at fencing practice, an opponent managed to nail me really hard a couple of times in the back of my sword hand. (I call this my "zero parry". It's funny if you're a fencer.) It was a little tender for a while, but it didn't hurt at all by the next morning, and I didn't seem to have any sort of impaired function.

That is, I didn't until today, when I tried to make those little "air quotes" with my fingers to indicate irony. Suddenly, my right hand was in crippling agony.

So, no air quotes for me. If I'm going to be sarcastic, I have to do it purely through tone of voice. But the problem is that my usual tone of voice is already such that everything I say comes out sounding a little sarcastic without my intending to. (It's always been a problem in my love life.) So I really do need air quotes to express sarcasm, and I have no choice but to be completely sincere until I heal up.

Believe me, now that I have had the misfortune to become one of them, I have gained a serious sympathy for the disabled. I mean that. I have no choice but to.

Update: I solved the problem by making two signs, one with an opening quotation mark and a note reminding me to hold it in my right hand, and one with a closing quotation mark and a note reminding me to hold it in my left hand. "It was a pleasure talking to you," I told the girl I was talking to when I got the idea, holding up the signs at the fourth word. She frowned and walked away.


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