The difference between decisive and dictatorial leadership

As a logophile, one of the things I love about words is that — get this — they mean things.

Profound, I know. I’ll give you a moment to recover from that.

OK, now that you’ve caught your breath after that devastatingly insightful opening thought, let’s continue. (And yes, I’m saying that with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.)

What sometimes happens is that folks will use all sorts of different words to try to reframe and redefine what something is or what something means. Or they’ll just use a word that doesn’t actually mean what they’re using it to mean.

For example, and with apologies to Alanis Morissette, ironic doesn’t mean some coincidental thing that you find humorous or irritating or something. Ironic actually refers to something that is the opposite of, or a reversal of, what you think is supposed to happen or what you expect to happen. So while “Ironic” certainly made for an infectious pop melody, Morissette’s assertion that wedding day precipitation was ironic was, in fact, not.

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