Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Oxymoron

With a definite maybe I agreed to participate in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Surprisingly, I've kept up so far. I'm terribly pleased. And today marks another week and another string of alphabetic posts. I'm almost exactly where I need to be and when I make this O-post, I'll be right on track.

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 

24 comments:

  1. Like that old joke. Her momma said she was pretty. Her daddy said she was ugly. So they argued until they agreed that she was pretty ugly.

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  2. I love oxymora (I really want to say oxymorons) and you listed some great examples.

    A-Z Fellow Challenger
    Holly Ruggiero’s POV

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  3. I like charm offensive, and the old favourite, military intelligence.

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  4. Oh good grief I love this word!

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  5. Okay...so if you're a sophisticated redneck, what do you do with your Christmas lights? And, where do you buy your lingerie? The Family Dollar Store, perhaps? Maybe Target. Do tell me.

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  6. I forgot oxymoron when I did my 'O' post! I love it! How about "an honest politician"? LOL

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  7. Ah, ya gotta love the oxymoron. I have chosen you for an award. You can pick your award up here :) http://pleasewithease.blogspot.com/2011/04/stylin-and-profilin.html

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  8. Love the post - and oxymorons. By the way, a "sophisticated redneck" for those that don't know, serves RC Cola on ice with Chicken In A Biscuit Crackers and Cheese Whiz as appetizers... =D

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  9. Oxymorons are so much fun! Great post. Stopping by as part of the A to Z challenge :)

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  10. Great post -- one of my favorite poetry terms!

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  11. Fun post. There are some really great Oxymorons.

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  12. Great examples -- that was very fun.

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  13. It's true you learn something new every day - I wasn't aware that the plural of oxymoron was oxymora. Great post, gotta love a good oxymoron! ;-)

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  14. Great examples of oxymorons! Thanks for the hard research! :)

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

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  15. Hi Langley! Stopping by on the A-Z Challenge, glad to have found your blog. Great post!

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  16. Great examples. This is something that can be used for unusual effects in literature/has been used to great effect by Shakespeare, as you've pointed out.

    Nice to meet you through the A to Z, though I had to drop out early because of a daughter's neck surgery. But I'm now back to posting my regular 2 or 3 times a week.
    Ann Carbine Best, Long Journey Home

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  17. 'Found missing' makes me want to hurl.

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  18. "Sophisticated redneck" makes me wish Shakespeare were still around, just to see how he would have worked that one into one of his plays. Perhaps in an update to "Mid- Summer" called "An After- Thanksgiving Sale at Walmart" ;)

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  19. Love oxymorons. Always amuse me to try to think some up or find a list.

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  20. Jumbo shrimp!


    My “O” post: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/old-mother-hubbard-economic-reality.html

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  21. I love oxymora - especially when people don't realize what they said.

    ^_^ I'm normally weird like that.

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