◉ Inadvertent oxymora: Original copy, extremely average, etc.
◉ Oxymora as puns: Open secret, deliberate mistake, etc.
◉ Oxymora as paradoxes: Serious joke, deafening silence, etc.
Based on the relationship between the two words, oxymora can also be classified into
◉ Direct oxymora — wherein the two words are antonyms, like orderly confusion, or inside out.
◉ Indirect oxymora — wherein the terms are not antonyms, but still contradict each other, like sure guess, or roaring silence.
Regardless of why we do it, or how it happens, there is no questioning the fact that oxymora add humor to even the most serious and/or dull conversations.
|Accurate estimate||Act naturally|
|All alone||Appear invisible|
|Awfully nice||Bad luck|
|Big baby||Born dead|
|Brief speech||Clearly confused|
|Climb down||Common difference|
|Confirmed rumor||Constant change|
|Controlled chaos||Current history|
|Deliberate mistake||Exact estimate|
|Exact opposite||Expressive silence|
|Falsely true||Farewell reception|
|Found missing||Fully empty|
|Genuine imitation||Genuinely fake|
|Growing small||Known secret|
|Liquid gas||Little giant|
|Mandatory option||Mercy killing|
|Modern history||Negative growth|
|Objective opinion||Original copy|
|Plastic glasses||Practical joke|
|Random pattern||Recorded live|
|Science fiction||Small crowd|
|Speed limit||Suicide victim|
|Terribly good||Timeless moment|
|True story||Typically unusual|
|Unsung hero||Virtual reality|
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow
Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!
Dove feathered raven! Wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
A damned saint, an honorable villain!
Here is much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O bawling love! O bawling hate!
O anything! of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos and well seeming forms.
Similarly, there are many authors who have successfully used this literary device to bring together two seemingly contradictory terms.
I find no peace, and all my war is done
I fear and hope, I burn and freeze like ice,
I flee above the wind, yet can I not arise;
And nought I have and all the world I season.
Translation of Petrarch’s Rima, Sonnet 134 by Sir Thomas Wyatt
Povert is hateful good, and, as I gesse,
A ful greet bringer out of bisiness;
English poet of the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer
His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true
Lancelot and Elaine, Idylls of the King, by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson