Did you guess what I'm writing about from the intro? There are 3 examples. Okay, the title of the post makes it painfully obvious but would you have guessed anyway? Can you find the examples?
Today's writerly word is oxymoron (plural, oxymora).
Oxymoron is a phrase in which two (or more) incongruous words are used in conjunction to highlight an apparent contradiction. When used effectively, a well placed literary oxymoron reveals a deeper truth through it's contradiction.
Shakespeare was masterful in his use of oxymora. Examples include:
- Romeo & Juliet: sweet sorrow
- A Midsummer Night's Dream: tragical mirth
- Julius Caesar: fearful bravery
Some oxymora are so frequently used they become part of everyday language. Examples:
- Good grief
- Act natural
- Found missing
- Small crowd
- Pretty ugly
- Working vacation
- Clearly misunderstood
Yeah, I love a good oxymoron because, you know, I'm a sophisticated redneck.
PS. You may find this interesting: P is for Paradox: What is the Difference Between a Paradox and an Oxymoron?
Source: Literary Terms and Definitions