Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Cat entrance classes have always been special! This weekend it was even more special. It was an RC (reading comprehension) class for me. I was wondering, 'How on earth would an RC class be taught for 2 hours?' and I assumed,'It must be boring...'. But my verbal instructor Srividya (mam) proved my assumption totally wrong. It was probably her best class for my batch till date. Whoa! what am I writing about? The post tiltle is 'Oxymoron-The word that caught my atttention!' And I am writing some blah...blah...blah... about my cat class? That's where I learnt this word.

One word that caught my attention during my school days was rendezvous and it's unique way of pronunciation. After that it was oxymoron.

Now what's an oxymoron?

Let's check what wikipedia says!

An oxymoron (plural oxymorons or, more rarely, oxymora) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. Oxymoron is a loanword from Greek oxy ("sharp" or "pointed") and moros ("dull"). Thus the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron.

Oxymorons are a proper subset of the expressions called contradictions in terms. What distinguishes oxymorons from other paradoxes and contradictions is that they are used intentionally, for rhetorical effect, and the contradiction is only apparent, as the combination of terms provides a novel expression of some concept, such as "cruel to be kind".

Deliberate oxymorons

Deafening silence
Forward retreat
Accidentally on Purpose
Little Big Man
Living Dead

Uses in Drama

Oxymorons are used in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' when Romeo is describing to Benvolio how much he loves Rosaline:

Romeo. Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O anything of nothing first create,
A heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead...

Juliet also uses oxymorons after having found out about her cousin's death at the hands of Romeo she says:

O serpent heart, hid with a flow'ring face!
Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical'
Dove-feathered raven, wolfish ravening lamb'
A damned saint, an honourable villain

Example from Srividya Mam:

Donald Duck - it refers to a male. But duck is a feminine term. It must have been Donald Drake. Still we are comfortable with Donald Duck because it sounds good. It's a well accepted oxymoron!

Oxymoron - a word to be noticed!