John McCullagh October 21, 2004
ButtercraneInside.jpg

The fashion-conscious enjoy skin-tight slacks and a healthy tan.  Politicians talk of nuclear defence and Star-Wars shields.  Computer people rail against Microsoft Works.  Civil servants weave a web of garbage in Plain English forms.  Examples of oxymorons abound in our world.  What are they?
 
I was contemplating how our recent stories of reminiscence evoke bitter-sweet memories when the term’s internal contradiction struck me.   This epigrammatical device deliberately junxta-poses contradictory terms; it is used sparingly and carefully by writers.  On the other hand the grant-milkers, the ‘great and the good’, the ‘movers and shakers’ sprinkle oxymorons through their language and press-releases like confetti.
 
One of the minor aims of Newry Journal is to expose self-publicising fraudsters.  You have read some examples here.  Now I’m asking you to come up with your favourite (i.e. most despised!) examples. 
 
Can anything be altogether separate; the same difference; a working holiday; virtual reality; pretty ugly; a civil war; a peace force?
 
[Abbey Gymnists c.1964 F. Arthur Murphy:Michael McCullagh:Coach, Gerry Brown: Peter Poland: … : Hugh McShane (?) M. ? : Martin McConville: Markey: …: McGivern:  Back.. 4. Gerry Hobden ..] Corrections please to Guestbook! (Ta to Gerry Hobden for Guestbook note.  I’m sorry not to have recognised you for we were acquainted!  I’m fairly confident M 1. is not Gerry McLaughlin (of Stream Street), unless there was another of that name!
 
Over to you!  Examples on Guestbook, please.  

Leave a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.