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Ironical is a Word

Contrary to popular belief, “ironical” is indeed a real word. Ironically, it has the exact same meaning and use as the word “ironic.” And yes, I know that probably isn’t the best use of the word “ironically.” Ironically, I don’t care.

Don’t believe me? Maybe Merriam-Webster will do a better job of convincing you. Here is their entry for “ironical.”

Definition of IRONIC

1: relating to, containing, or constituting irony <an ironic remark> <an ironic coincidence>
2: given to irony <an ironic sense of humor>

Variants of IRONIC

iron·ic also iron·i·cal

Ironical vs Ironic

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the usage of this word, but I assure you that in all circumstances where “ironic” can be used, “ironical” can be used as well. “Ironical” is considered archaic, but its usage depends only on the preference of the person using it. It’s not so much “ironic vs ironical,” as much as “ironic = ironical.”

Examples of usage:

I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen. It’s really ironical, because I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair. I really do.

Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Sallinger

If it’s good enough for Holden Caulfield, it’s good enough for me.

And let’s not forget this one from the fine film Good Will Hunting

Sean (Robin Williams): “Got this flyer the other day. Says, uh…, class of ’72’s having a reunion in six months.”

Gerry (Stellan Skarsgård): “Yeah, I got one of those too.”

Sean: “Why don’t you come; I’ll buy you a drink.”

Gerry: “The drinks at those things are free.”

Sean: “I know, Gerry. I was being ironical.” (emphasis mine)

<laughs are had all around>

end scene.

If that doesn’t convince you that ironical is a word, I don’t know what will.

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