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Posted on January 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Isn’t It Ironic?

Regardless whether many people or few people know the true definition of the word, “ironic,” it seems undeniable that most people, intentionally or not, use the word incorrectly. 

Fans of Alanis Morissette are generally aware of her amusement when revealing that the most ironic thing about her song, “Isn’t It Ironic?” is that there are actually no ironies in the lyrics. The entire story of the song is filled with coincidences, not ironies.

The difference is entirely about intentionality, and I have my own recent experience as a personal example.

For 2019, the institution that processes claims for health/vision insurance via my employer was switched from HealthScope to WebTPA. Overall, not much changes from the employee point of view. Same benefits, mostly the same procedures, and the same criteria that must be met to qualify for discounted premiums.

One big difference, however, is that whereas claims could be submitted to HealthScope via their web site, there is no online submission for WebTPA (at least not at this time). Yes, that’s right. A claims processing center named WebTPA doesn’t actually have a means of submitting claims via the web!

This is the kind of thing a great many people would describe as ironic.

Except that it isn’t. It’s just purely (and perhaps ridiculously) coincidental.

For it to be ironic, someone would have had to intentionally decided, “Hey, let’s name our claims processing center ‘WebTPA’ but only allow submissions via fax or snail mail.” That would be irony.

I strongly doubt it was a conscious decision, therefore no one can legitimately call it much worse than a dumb oversight or perhaps, at best, a timeline failure if online submissions will be available soon but weren’t ready at the time of 2019’s launch. But judging from a response to which I was loosely privy, “oversight” seems most accurate.

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