Had to do the follow-up to last week’s. It was in need of a rewrite.

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Discussion (40)¬

  1. Hobbes says:

    Nooooo! Don’t let Jeez toss it! I vote NO!

  2. mad fred says:

    I wos going to make a coment about fixing the Irony Meta but then I sore that I had to tick the box that sed I was not a spanner. I hat these sites that mak u say that.

  3. botanist says:

    Author, Yahoo spammed today’s email but not last week’s.
    I’m with Hobbes – another NO vote.

  4. Freethinkin Franklin says:

    Now if only we could figure out a way to make the “Irony Meter” visible to theists…… ohhh what a wonderful world this would be.

  5. Ketil W.Grevstad says:

    i Wonder if it possible to draw a picture of the irony meter?

  6. Poor Richard says:

    Sorry, Hobbes et al: It was tossed centuries ago.

  7. Martin_z says:

    I do hope that, in December, you’ll resurrect the one where J&M gave the barmaid an irony meter for Christmas.

    In fact, I’d happily see all the irony meter ones again – they’ve always been among my favourites.

  8. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    The irony meter too often go’s “sproing”
    A function that is somewhat annoying
    Get something contemporary, you can’t go wrong
    With the new and improved Bizare-o-tron
    With audio alert, a sonorous “boing”

  9. eddy says:

    ‘if only we could figure out a way to make the “Irony Meter” visible to theists.’
    They’d think it’s a “righteousness meter”.

  10. Maybe if they re-named it the Tertullian meter it would stop breaking.

  11. The irony meter and “spoing”. Two of the great cultural inventions of recent history.

  12. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I caught the back-end of Newsnight on BBC2 a couple of nights ago where they were discussing the Pope’s comments about homosexuals. A woman wose name I didn’t catch but who was obviously Catholic put a wonderful spin on the whole issue, effectively saying that because Jesus never mentioned the gays, the Bible had no problem with homosexuality, it was them having sex outside of marriage that was a sin!
    Gawd knows why – but I’ll be kind and assume they had run out of time – but Paxo didn’t ask if the RCC was therefore going to sanction same-sex marriage to prevent millions of people from going to Hell for the ‘sin’ of acting on their inherent (some may say ‘God-given’) sexuality.
    It doesn’t matter what you re-name irony meters; religion will always break them.

  13. JohnM says:

    Wiktionary has no entry for “spoing”. Do we have a language expert hanging around this forum who might be able to fix that.

    Neither does Wikipedia have an entry for “Irony Meter”, but maybe that’s just as well.

  14. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    JohnM says:
    August 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm
    […..]Neither does Wikipedia have an entry for “Irony Meter”, but maybe that’s just as well.

    As one whose views on wiki are well documented, I give that line +1 🙂

  15. FreeFox says:

    Someone should write an android app to beep and go spoing around unintentional irony…

  16. Undeluded says:

    Calling the device an “irony meter” is itself ironic! After all, it’s a hypocrisy meter!

  17. JohnM says:

    I acknowledge there are many aspects of Wikipedia that can’t be trusted, but I find useful material in e.g. empirical sciences such as Natural History, and in the Mathematics portal.

    Meanwhile, is somebody going to write that Wiktionary entry for “spoing”?

  18. author says:

    I am happy to say that “spoing” has an entry in the Urban Dictionary .

  19. Micky says:

    Author, did you spot the second entry?

  20. FreeFox says:

    Argument from Wikipedia:
    Irony (from the Ancient Greek ???????? eir?neía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance),[1] in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event characterized by an incongruity, or contrast, between reality (what is) and appearance (what seems to be).
    Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have.
    @Undiluded: An irony meter should measure hypocrisy. 🙂

  21. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    What I’d like to know is why Wikipedia has entries for irony and hypocrisy, but not one for gullible. Ironic really, since it best describes those who actually use Wiki as an ifallible source of information, and especially those who don’t see the need to double-check what it tells them.

  22. hotrats says:

    Wikipedia might be excusable – it doesn’t claim to be comprehensive – but I was surprised to learn that ‘gullible’ doesn’t appear in the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, either.

  23. Pappy McFae says:

    Can’t the Irony Meter be made SPOING-proof? Surely there is some technology that can take the brunt of severe and repeated religious irony, and not break so easily.

  24. hotrats says:

    Pappy McFae:
    As the parties of religion lose moral ground to the secularists, their justifications and denunciations become steadily more desperate and nonsensical, so the background level of irony tends to rise inexorably.

    It is very hard to design and calibrate a robust machine under these conditions – when new it will be too insensitive (only popes and archbishops will give a reading), then it will work gradually better, eventually picking up lay preachers, then gradually worse again, until, inevitably, ‘Spoing!’

  25. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Pappy McFae, what you’re forgetting is that religion has had a massive head-start on technology. We can do a nuclear blast-proof bunker but religious irony is as yet beyond the ken of the greatest techies.

    Whilst I’m here; I was watching a bit of silliness on BBC4 the other evening, a programme called Boffins Telling Jokes – which was exactly what it sounds like, a lot of clever people telling each other their favourite jokes. One of the boffins – a physicist if memory serves – told a joke that none of the other boffins got, and neither did I, so if anybody understands the punchline to the following, feel free to enlighten me:
    Q. What happens if you put a black hole into an indestructable dustbin?
    A. It takes off.

    One I did like from the same programme:
    A chap is getting his hair cut, and his young daughter is stood right next to him eating a cake. The barber says to her “Little girl, you’re going to get hair on your muffin”, to which she replies “I know, and with a bit of luck I’ll get a smashing pair of tits, too”!

  26. hotrats says:

    I liked the physics joke quoted on The Big Bang Theory:
    ‘There’s this farmer, and he has these chickens, but they won’t lay any eggs. So, he calls a physicist to help. The physicist then does some calculations, and he says, “I have a solution, but it only works with spherical chickens in a vacuum.” ‘

  27. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    That’s deepity-deep, hotrats. Any clue on the black hole one?

    I also liked this one, from the aforementioned Boffins Telling Jokes:
    A photon checks into a hotel and the receptionist asks if it would like a bell-boy to take its luggage up to the room.
    “No thanks, I have no bags” says the proton, “I’m travelling light”.

  28. Mahatma Coat says:

    And I’ve discovered lately that if you say gullible very slowly, it sounds like orange.

  29. Alice says:

    It’s amazing! Fucking cool! Author, I love you for this!

  30. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Mahatma, I discovered long ago that if you say ‘gullible’ very quickly, it sounds just like a bath-fart.

  31. JohnM says:

    Maybe the joke is quite simply that there is no joke – every day is April 1st

  32. Guest Pest says:

    Why don’t they just make the irony meter more like a jack-in-the-box, so it can “spoing” and then be easily reset? (to the tune of “Pop goes the weasel”)

  33. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    JohnM, I’m actually quite pleased that nobody tried to prove me wrong by posting a link to wiki’s ‘gullible’ page (if there is one, I haven’t actually checked); it just goes to show that at long last I’ve fallen in with the right crowd.

  34. FreeFox says:

    AoS, actually I did check it out, out of sheer curiosity, though I did get the joke. And the joke itself is actually mentioned on the wikipedia page on gullibility. Also the exact difference between gullibility and credulity. Go check it out. No… really… I mean… erm… seriously…

  35. JohnM says:


    I am guessing you refer to Wikipedia’s ‘Gullibility’ page link to the Sokal affair? More damaging to ‘Science’ than this are those technical papers that get through peer review, yet contain deliberately forged data to arrive at their conclusions. Sometimes such data is not even amenable to repetition, as in the case of observations of events determined by some kind of historic time-line.

  36. John says:

    A fresh attack on the the gay people, again.
    Replace a “christian” to “LGBT” and you’ll get a prime example of hate speach.

    Author is no more trying to conceive his poorly disguised fascism. Way to go.

  37. Alf Hookit says:


    I think you may need help. Only a seriously disturbed individual could think that this cartoon is an attack on gay people.

    Please get a grip on reality.

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    John, what Alf said…….and learn to spell.

  39. Tim says:

    But I am a spammer. Because you told me to say I’m not one. That’s all it takes. Ask Barbra.


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