Here's an occasional feature of this occasional blog: Alanis Morissette Watch. It is, of course, named after the Canadian singer/songwriter whose song "Isn't It Ironic?" presents a number of situations (e.g., rain on your wedding day), none of which is actually ironic. In Alanis's honor, we will feature examples of writing that misunderstands the concept of irony (hint: it is not the same thing as coincidence).
Today's spotlight is on CNN.com's "Political Ticker", which writes about John McCain's decision to cancel a scheduled appearance in Miami due to concerns over Tropical Storm Fay:
"Ironically, McCain had his plans changed by Hurricane Dolly last month. He was supposed to go by helicopter to an oil rig off the Louisiana coast for a high-profile drilling event at the same time Obama was in Europe. But the effects of Dolly in the Gulf caused that trip to be canceled."
So Senator McCain had to change his plans twice because of weather disturbances in the Southeastern United States. That is probably frustrating. It is certainly coincidental. It is not, however, ironic.