I love discovering oxymorons in printed text. I think they are delightful and add something unique to our language.
A few days ago our state daily newspaper published a classic. I just had to share it with you:
“Thank God I’m an atheist.”
For those who have never come across the term, an oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two contradictory concepts. Some of my favourite include
- hasten slowly
- deafening silence
- school discipline
- military intelligence
- council worker
- accidentally on purpose
- organised chaos
- an open secret
- pretty ugly
The word oxymoron comes from the Greek oxy meaning sharp or pointed, and moros meaning dull or stupid. In an interesting twist, the word oxymoron is itself and oxymoron. How neat.
For a really interesting explanation, this You Tube video is a classic. Try to ignore the slightly raunchy presentation: