Thursday, August 2, 2018

List your 5 favorite oxymorons, what they mean and why you like them. 2-on-1 08/03/2018

Okay - this week's topic should be a bit of fun. Oxymorons. We all use them, probably joke about them and hopefully know what they mean. You can check my friend and fellow 2-on-1 blogger Ramana's take here. 

An oxymoron occurs when two contradictory words are together in one phrase. In fact, oxymoron translates from the Greek words oxy meaning sharp, and moron, which means dull. Thus, the word itself is two contradictory words pushed together. For a fun read discussing many types of oxymorons (or oxymora -  also a valid plural of oxymoron) check this discussion of oxymoronology.

Let's begin my list with a classic - jumbo shrimp. One look at my over-sized frame and it should be obvious why I like this one - they taste great. They are equally excellent deep fried, sauteed in butter and garlic, boiled and chilled with a nice spicy cocktail sauce or my personal favorite - in a nice Madras curry sauce over rice. and,it is even now the .nickname of a minor league baseball team (the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp) 

Next up is one every fan of the comic strip Peanuts knows well - Good grief. Now realistically I know of no grief that can be called good but in this instance it has been  co-opted by Charles M. Schultz's characters. I must admit to sharing this sentiment with Snoopy on occasion. And, it is regularly used by our hero Charlie Brown for many a frustrating circumstance.  It has come to stand fora feeling of extreme exasperation.

Number 3 on my list is act naturally. I like this one because of the Beatles song from years ago and the irony - act naturally. Interesting - it is said the best actors and actresses are naturals at acting naturally. As a side note - I saw the Beatles in their last live gig on the road in 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The tickets cost a whopping $4.50 each. They sounded awful - LOL - but it was a fun time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Next up on my list is soft rock. Soft rock? I prefer my rock to be loud and with a great beat - like this little ditty. The fact that the song is a riff on the Indian sex manual The Kama Sutra is clearly a bonus.  Songwriter one, censors zero!

For number five I am going with pretty ugly. There is a clever commercial running on television here that has an installer placing a satellite dish in a very conspicuous place on the front of a house - the commercial is for a cable company (no satellites). The homeowner comments it is pretty ugly and the installer asks her to use those words if she writes a review - emphasis on the pretty.

That completes my list but there are several others that are worth mentioning - spendthriftbridegroombittersweetballpointspeechwritingfirewater, someone and wholesome - all single word oxymorons.. This is a discussion that could go on and on,


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  2. what fun! our language seems to be full of them!
    I lived in Virginia at the age of 13 and I remember the adjective "right" used in front of everything. like "right nice" or "she's right pretty" … not a problem. until I heard once when a friend was showing me what I did wrong in an algebra problem.
    "that's a right wrong thing you did there."
    let's hope it was a one time thing with the poor guy!
    now it's not mainstream I know. but even I had to admit it's an awkward oxymoron for sure! does it even count? LOL

  3. Fun subject indeed.

    One of my favourites, for not so noble reasons, and I use it a fair bit, is "same difference". Accompanied by a shoulder shrug.


    1. Yeah - that is one I use often as well - one of the most fun things with English

  4. Great choices Shackman. I don't know how Good Grief escaped my list. It should have featured right on top! Age tells I guess!

  5. Gee, I hadn’t thought of oxymorons for awhile, but you’ve cited a few good bad ones.