Oxymorons: Contradictory Terms

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. The most common form of oxymoron involves an adjective-noun combination of two words. Examples of oxymorons of this kind include: Dark light, Living –Dead, Open-Secret, and Original copy.

Oxymorons can call attention to an apparent contradictions, some of which become cliches. Examples include: irregular patterns, bitter sweet, deafening silence, forward retreat, noisy silence, serious jokes, and sweet sorrows.

Sometimes pairs of terms are claimed to be an oxymoron by those who hold the opinion that the two are mutually exclusive.  “Humorous” examples include military intelligence, freedom fighters, business ethics, and civil war.

Tomorrow, Urban Legends.  Rita Bay

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