An oxymoron is not an unintelligent ox and it cannot tow or pull your wagon.
An oxymoron is a term that means two or more words with opposite meanings used together to express a thought. We usually know what the person is saying. One of the best examples is “Good Grief.” Good means something that is positive and beneficial for me; grief is negative and causes me to feel badly. How can they coexist?
“Jumbo shrimp” means something that is large and small at the same time. This is caused because Americans use the word shrimp to describe a small person.
Simon and Garfunkel sang a song that used the phrase “Sounds of Silence.” Another phrase used is “the silence was deafening.” Silence means the absence of sound. How can it be deafening?
Many times I have heard the phrase, “bitter sweet.” How can it be both? It is either bitter or sweet. How about sweet and sour chicken?
I have been involved in many activities that seem to have no organization or purpose or pattern and I say, this is “organized chaos.” Chaos means an utter absence of organization or plan. It is never organized.
There is a product on the market called “Icy Hot” that supposedly means it creates two opposite sensations: ice and hot. How can that be? Clever advertising gimmick. There is another product on the market that is advertised as a “Nondairy creamer.” Friends, if it is cream it is dairy. It cannot be non-dairy.
I remember when people bought a new car they would sit with the dealer to place the order and the dealer would ask, “What options do you want?” meaning white walled tires, air conditioning, tinted windows, floor mats etcetera. Now car manufacturers use the term “Standard options” meaning these features come with the car; no decisions are necessary. Now it is either optional or it is standard.
One of my favorites is when driving a person makes a “rolling stop” at a stop sign. How can you be rolling, moving and stopped at the same time? Back in my callow youth, a long time ago, the common term for long pants was “slacks” which meant they covered the hips and legs and were loose fitting hence they were slack. Today people use the term “tight slacks” to mean the same garment but it fits tightly. How can you take a “working vacation” a phrase so prevalent today? Can you have an “unbiased opinion?” No! An opinion is your own thought based on your experience and it is impossible to be unbiased. Biased means something depends upon your experience or thought – slanted to your view of reality. I chuckle when I hear Pres. Trump use the phrase “fake news” and the media uses the phrase “unbiased reporting.”
A term that permeates our vocabulary today is “virtual reality.” Is it real, actual, valid which means reality? Or is it virtual that means simulated, cybernetic and not real? But that is “old news.” Can’t be old if it is news.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.]