For this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, Shackman  sent this message to me.
“List your 5 favorite oxymorons, what they mean and why you like them.”

Let me start off by defining the term Oxymoron.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech where two words of opposed or contradictory meaning are used together to create emphasis. While some oxymorons are created by accident – such as “small crowd” – sometimes they are used deliberately to draw attention to something or to create drama for the reader or listener.

My first choice will be:

Deafening Silence.  Means total silence.  If you split the two words, the first one indicates loudness and the second total silence.  How fascinating!

The next one would be:

Clearly misunderstood. Means that the recipient of the message has not understood the message at all.  The first word would indicate clarity and the second misunderstanding. How can one misunderstand something that is clear?  The inanity of the combination fascinates me.

The next one would be:

Friendly take-over. This is a business operation where one company takes over the control and management of the other.  The first word would mean amity and the second a grabbing of another’s property.  While in practice what this means is that the majority shareholders have agreed to sell their stake at an agreed to price, the minority and the employees and other stake holders can whistle at the change.  I have not come across any instance of it internally being a friendly move for the taken over and that  is why it fascinates me.

The next would be:

Jumbo shrimp.  A large sized shrimp.  Jumbo would indicated an elephantine size and shrimp in popular usage is for something tiny.  The combination is ridiculous for its usage as the correct name could well be Giant Prawn which is in someways another oxymoron!

The next and most intriguing would be:

Living dead. Does this really need an explanation?  I am yet to meet a living dead entity but keep reading about such people.  It simply does not make any sense whatsoever to use this oxymoron for its sheer stupidity.

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about this fascinating topic.

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