The Oxymoron

Essay by georgedlCollege, Undergraduate March 2006

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The dictionary describes oxymoron as "a rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined". Contrary to popular belief, the oxymoron is not a mentally challenged steer. In plain English, it's putting words together that, by definition, cancel each other out I know what you're still confused, so let's use a "constructive attitude" and see if I am able to explain things better than "educational television" can.

Sometimes we make the oxymoron make sense to us like saying "healthy chocolate". But think about the oxymoron, "Deafening silence". How can one have "deafening silence"? Is silence heard due to some strange occurrence? No. But it does give the illusion of silence being so loud it can make you deaf. Go figure. One could let out a "silent scream" just thinking about it. I'm not sure anyone would care, after all it is silent. But does this matter? Yes, to the oxymoron.

The oxymoron can either work for us or against us. Think about this. Have you ever been "legally drunk"? If I use that when I am driving, would I get a ticket? Think about it. I'm still legal, right? It must not be against the law. How would they know if I was drunk as long as I "acted natural"? This can be achieved by acting like me but not in a strange or different way than I usually act in day to day life. If things got out of control would they bring out the "peace force"? I would be forced into going peacefully. This could include a good beating to make sure all is peaceful. I could get a reprieve if a "small crowd" gathered to watch as opposed to a regular crowd. I'm sure if that doesn't work things could get "pretty...