Senior Member
“And there are some people, self-skeptical, self-ironical, self-questioning, who not only think it's important to have their most cherished beliefs challenged but who enjoy it, who cheer it on, who even join in.”

Lance Mannion

What does self-ironical mean?

Please help. Thank you.
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I've never seen this word (nor "self-skeptical") before. It seems to have been made up by the author. Its literal meaning would be something like "applying irony to one's own beliefs," but what that might mean remains obscure to this skeptic. :)


    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I wouldn't say "necessarily," but why not? If this is indeed a coinage by its author it can mean whatever he wishes. But of course he risks sacrificing the comprehension of his readers.
    Google "self-ironical." The term has been used before and does seem to include "self-laughter."
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    Senior Member
    As it seems 'self-irony' is not a well-established term in English, whereas it is indeed in Swedish, perhaps this Swedish-English entry from Norstedts Online Dictionary might be of help (headword excluded):
    irony directed at oneself, self-irony, self-mockery

    My personal understanding of the term (as used in Swedish) is that it refers to the attitude of not taking oneself or one's beliefs too seriously. A person who displays such an attitude is said to be self-ironical.

    I have a notion that that is the sense in which Lance Mannion uses the word in his blog post.
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