The Oxymorons We Use Every Day

Maja Peradin 4 years ago Comment

Even if the figures of speech are not something we think about too much, there are oxymorons we tend to use unconsciously.

The Oxymorons We Use Every Day | Blog | Ciklopea
Oksimoron svakako možemo ubrojiti među omiljene stilske figure.

The oxymoron can certainly be considered to be one of the most popular figures of speech (provided that figures of speech are able to be popular at all, of course). By using oxymorons, we can express a very striking or humorous thought in a short form. However, even if the figures of speech are not something we think about too much, there are oxymorons we tend to use unconsciously.

Let’s remember, an oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two conflicting notions, as in the expression “wise fool”. In this case, the opposite notions are obvious and it’s hard to imagine why anyone would use such an expression without considering the opposite meanings of the two words. We are more likely to encounter this type of expressions in written literature than in everyday speech, and this is the reason why the oxymoron, like other figures of speech, is exclusively associated with literary texts.

It is surprising how many everyday expressions are actually oxymorons.

However, in addition to being used for stylistic purposes, oxymorons have crept into everyday communication, into phrases that are so well-established that people no longer question their meaning. It is surprising how many everyday expressions are actually oxymorons.

While searching for such cases we found many examples, and we have chosen ten English oxymorons that we find interesting:

1.virtual reality
2.original copy
3.living dead
4.paid volunteers
5.old news
6.act naturally
7.pretty ugly
8.constant variable
9.exact estimate
10.only choice

We hope you liked our selection and that among the above-listed examples there are at least some that you have used but never thought of them as oxymorons before. Can you think of any other examples?

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