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OXYMORON

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OXYMORON

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:04 pm

• oxymoron •

Pronunciation: ahk-si-mo-rahn • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A phrase or compound word containing two words that are ostensibly semantic opposites, such as "a long brief" or "hot ice".

Notes: No, this word does not refer to someone who is as moronic as an ox; the meaning above is the correct one. The adjective for this word is oxymoronic and the adverb oxymoronically. Try using the pedantic plural oxymora instead of oxymorons; it really impresses people.

In Play: When Judy Side came in wearing tight slacks, her friend Lotta Noyes (who was wearing loose tights), turned to me and said, "Good Grief! When Judy and I are alone together, things can get pretty ugly." When these two go out to eat boneless ribs or jumbo shrimp, they often end up in a friendly argument with the wait staff, especially if they are served hard water in plastic glasses. (How many oxymora can you count in this little story?)

Word History: Today's Good Word is most appropriately an oxymoron itself; it least it was in Greek. Greek oxymoron is made up of oxys "sharp, acid" and moros "dull, stupid", the source of the English word moron. Greek oxys is also found in oxygen. It is akin to Latin acus "needle", whose root we see in acute, acuity, and acupuncture. The original Proto-Indo-European root ak- "needle" came to the Germanic languages as something like agjo, which developed into Old Norse eggja "to needle, egg on". During one of the friendly Viking visits to England from the 9th through the 11th centuries, English borrowed this word for its verb to egg (on). The word was already in English, but with a different pronunciation: today's edge. (We are grateful to David Ross for suggesting today's fine word without our having to egg him.)
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Oxymorons

Postby David McWethy » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:22 am

In today's epistle, Dr. G. gives examples of oxymorons with this anecdote:

In Play: When Judy Side came in wearing tight slacks, her friend Lotta Noyes (who was wearing loose tights), turned to me and said, "Good Grief! When Judy and I are alone together, things can get pretty ugly." When these two go out to eat boneless ribs or jumbo shrimp, they often end up in a friendly argument with the wait staff, especially if they are served hard water in plastic glasses.

and then asks "How many oxymora can you count in this little story"? As the first to respond (b/c everyone else had the good sense to realize that the question was rhetorical) I'm tempted to simply reply "17" and leave it at that. (After all, he did ask "how many"? and not "what are"?).

But it wouldn't take five minutes for that answer to be challenged, so I'll sally forth and offer: tight/slack; loose/tight; good/grief; alone/together; pretty/ugly; boneless/ribs; jumbo/shrimp; friendly/argument; hard/water; and plastic/glass. So my tentative final answer is "10"; an elephantine pregnancy that brought forth a mouse.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things...."
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:09 am

:lol:
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: OXYMORON

Postby David McWethy » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:47 pm

I believe the previously quintessential oxymoron--particularly in the Vietnam War era--was "military intelligence".

Having recently been enabled to experience the matter first-hand, I now am firmly convinced that the new top-of-the-heap oxymoron is "Social Security"!
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