Today's topic: Oxymoron
I got several mails which asked about these so-called oxymorons. So I'll provide the answers here. However, since I have more answers than questions, so I'll resort to the Indonesian Journalistic Code #977, Article B, Under the Heading "Infotainment": Make some up!
Q: Do oxymorons have four legs?
Q: What do oxymorons eat?
A: Brain cels. So I guess, you're safe.
Q: What IS an oxymoron exactly?
A: Glad you asked. The term "oxymoron" comes from the greek oxus (literally: sharp) and morus (literally: fool).
Q: Isn't that a contradictory in terms?
A: Exactly. Many people use oxymorons as a form of intellectual humor. Usually the comedy lies in knowing that people use it regularly. Or an intellectual attack on a certain party by insinuating the opposite of its adjective.
Q: Any examples?
A: Stand up comedian George Carlin, for example, said in many of his acts, "Military Intelligence is a contradictory in terms." He also popularized "Jumbo Shrimp." A lot of women also suggested "Male Intellect" is an oxymoron.
Q: What did the men do about it?
A: They countered with the oxymoron "Female Drivers."
Q: Isn't that, like, gender stereotyping?
A: It is. If you paid more attention, a lot of humor involves stereotyping of many kinds. Racial, gender, cultural, etc. But that's a different issue.
Q: When I come in contact with an oxymoron, what should I do?
A: Firstly: Don't panic! And keep your distance. An active oxymoron will hypnotize people around it, making them think of it as a usual, harmless term. But if you know better, then you're still safe. Report immediately to the Oxymoron Squad Headquarter, with yahooid: a_scriptwriter.
Q: What's your current Top Nine Oxymorons?
A: Here they are...
9. Unbiased Opinion______________
8. Victimless Crime
7. Forced Relaxation (Found at January 4th, 2004)
6. Friendly Fire
5. Military Intelligence
4. Government Organization
3. Pretty Ugly
2. Peacemaker Missile
1. Microsoft Works
Q: Hey, isn't the correct plural form for oxymoron is oxymora?
A: It is. However, due to excess usage, oxymorons is also a (socially) acceptable use of plural.
Q: Wait, wait, wait! So do oxymorons only apply to terms?
A: No. As I mentioned earlier, it applies to larger uses of comedy: statements, dialogs, one-liners, and even a three-part comedy.
Q: Any examples?
A: There are a lot in this site. Some of my favorites are...
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.(Thanks to a better-informed reader named pip.)
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
Samuel Goldwyn: What kind of dancing does Martha Graham do?
Associate: Modern dancing.
Samuel Goldwyn: I don't want her then, modern dancing is so old fashioned.