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What this column stands for

1 January 2001

This column stands for not taking oneself too seriously. It is erected to further my new year's resolution to keep this website fresh and readable.

column  n. 1.  Archit. a. an upright shaft or body of greater length than thickness, usu. serving as a support,; a pillar. b. a vertical architectural member consisting typically of an approximately cylindrical shaft with a base and a capital. 2. any column-like object, mass, or formation: a column of smoke. 3. Bot. the upright cylindrical structure formed by the union of stamens in an orchid.  4. Geol. geological sequence deposited through the various periods of geological time.  5. Geol. a cylindrical dripstone formation formed by the union of a stalactite and a stalagmite.  6. one of the two or more vertical rows of lines of type or printed matter of a page: there are two columns on this page7. a perpendicular row of figures.  8. a regular contribution to a newspaper, usu. signed, and consisting of comment, news, etc.  9. a journalistic department devoted to short articles, etc., of an entertaining or esp. readable kind furnished by a particular editor or writer with or without the aid of contributors. 10. a line of ships following one after the other.  11. a formation of troops, narrow laterally and extended from front to rear. [ME columpne,  from OF, from L columna pillar, post]...

ironic  adj. 1. pertaining to, of the nature of, or characterised by irony: an ironic compliment.  2. using, or addicted to irony: an ironic speaker3. of the nature of or containing irony...  [L ironicus, from Gk eironicos dissembling, feigning ignorance]......

irony  n... 1. a figure of speech or literary device in which the literal meaning is the opposite of that intended, esp., as in the Greek sense, when the locution understates the effect intended, employed in ridicule or merely playfully2. an ironical utterance or expression.  3. simulated ignorance in discussion (Socratic irony).  4. the quality or effect, or implication of a speech or situation in a play or the like understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters of the piece (dramatic irony).  5. an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.  6. an ironical quality. [L. ironica, from Gk eironeia dissimilation, understatement]...

The Macquarie dictionary, second edition


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Revised 6 November 2014

Next column: Russell Hall's ironic order