Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

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Sunday Word: Oxymoron

oxymoron [ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr- ]

1 a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in 'cruel kindness' or 'to make haste slowly'.
2 broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements


Which is a logistical problem that echoes a philosophical one in both the show and our own world: Isn’t the term virtual reality inevitably an oxymoron? (Spencer Kornhaber, Westworld’s Virtual Afterlife Might Not Be Fiction)

The phrase 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron. . (Robin D Gill, The Cat Who Thought Too Much - An Essay Into Felinity )

Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have. (Dr John C Maxwell, Taming Time)


Mid 17th century: from Greek oxumōron, neuter (used as a noun) of oxumōros ‘pointedly foolish’, from oxus 'sharp' + mōros 'foolish'. (OED)

1650s, from Greek oxymoron, noun use of neuter of oxymoros (adj.) 'pointedly foolish,' from oxys 'sharp, pointed' (from PIE root ak- 'be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce') + mōros 'stupid'. Rhetorical figure by which contradictory terms are conjoined so as to give point to the statement or expression; the word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean 'contradiction in terms.' (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Tags: greek, noun, o, wordsmith: sallymn

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