Tag Archives: oxymoron meaning

Oxymoron — and other oxymora

It’s inspiring to see grammar lessons on the New York subway, especially when your express train is running on the local track. Now everyone who took the A train on the C line last week knows what an oxymoron is. And just in case you’re still not sure what the ad pictured above means (because shrimps aren’t always tiny, are they?): it’s a figure of speech — an oxymoron — in which apparently contradictory terms are joined together to emphasize the very paradox of their conjunction. It’s often used nowadays more loosely to mean “contradiction in terms,” which is literally what it is. Oxymoron is in fact an oxymoron itself, derived from the Greek word oxus, meaning “keen or sharp”, combined with moros, which means “foolish”.  Continue reading