Posts Tagged ‘Oxymoronica’

The Sound of “Silence”!

June 24, 2018

Since silence is the absence of sound, the “sound of silence” is an oxymoron, plain and simple.  But this is a popular oxymoronic theme nonetheless.  You hear all sorts of them . . . from “a thundering silence,” to “his silence spoke volumes,” these types of phrases communicate that the meaning behind silence often times “speaks” more than mere words.  Here are some oxymorons on silence.  Enjoy!

“Their very silence is a loud cry.”  (Cicero)

“Often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed.”  (Pindar)

“Silence.  One of the hardest arguments to refute.”  (Josh Billings)

“Silence is more eloquent than words.”  (Thomas Carlyle)

“Silence is the unbearable repartee.”  (G.K. Chesterton)

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.”  (Hannah More)

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Martha Grode


The Ancients!

June 9, 2018

The ancients, i.e., the people who lived a very long time ago, especially Greeks or Romans, are not immune when it comes to the usage of oxymoronica.  Here are some of my favorites.

“Their very silence is a loud cry.”  (Cicero)

“Often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed.”  (Pindar)

“Even if you persuade me, you won’t persuade me.”  (Aristophanes)

“Too much liberty leads both men and nations to slavery.”  (Cicero)

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance.”  (Confucius)

“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe


May 24, 2018

Oxymorons (defined as “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction”) can be used as descriptions that can totally refute or topple conventional ways of thinking.  Here are a few examples using the word “sentimentality” (defined as “the quality of being excessively or extravagantly sentimental”).

“Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.”  (Norman Mailer)

“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel.”  (James Baldwin)

“Sentimentality is the failure of feeling.”  (Wallace Stevens)

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Martha Grode


More Oxymoronic Advice!

May 8, 2018

It seems as though everyone you encounter is willing to provide you advice at some point in time.  Here are a few examples of my favorites.

“If a person begins by telling you, ‘Do not be offended at what I am going to say,’ prepare yourself for something that she knows will certainly offend you.”  (Eliza Leslie)

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing that you will make one.”  (Elbert Hubbard)

“Stop running around after happiness.  If you make up your mind not to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time.”   (Edith Wharton)”

“If you are too careful, you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.”  (Gertrude Stein)

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”  (Edgar Allan Poe)

King of the Oxymoron!

April 24, 2018

The world of literature has long been a breeding ground of the oxymoron (defined as a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction).  One oxymoron in particular is, in my opinion, a veritable masterpiece: the opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities . . .

It was the best of time, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Source: oxymonoica by Dr. Martha Grode

Marriage and Loneliness!

March 24, 2018

I have been single my entire life (and I’m perfectly okay with this) and have dealt with the issue of loneliness from time to time.  And, while many people get married to “escape the pain of being single,” they invariable discover that marriage could be even more painful than solitude.  I found a few quotations about this in the book Oxymoronica.  Apparently some people have figured this out.

“If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”  (Anton Chekhov)

“Marriage is lonelier than solitude.”  (Adrienne Rich)

“The surest way to be alone is to get married”  (Gloria Steinem)

“Marriage is the only thing that affords a woman the pleasure of company and the perfect sensation of solitude at the same time.”  (Helen Rowland)

So what is the better choice?  Get married?  Or remain single?  Here are some more quotations . . .  enjoy!

“One was never married, and that’s his hell; another is and that’s his plague.”  (Robert Burton)

“Matrimony and bachelorhood are both of them at once equally wise and equally foolish.”  (Samuel Butler)

“It doesn’t matter whether you decide to marry or stay single; either way you’ll be sorry.”  (Socrates)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

Inadvertent Oxymoronica!

December 23, 2017

Inadvertent oxymoronica (defined as two contradictory words used together in one phrase) are those types of observations that happen totally by accident.  Prominent public figures are often the greatest source of these inadvertent quotable faux pas.  Let’s take a look at a few, shall we?

Marion Barry (former Mayor of Washington, DC)
“I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man.”

“There are two kinds of truth.  There are real truths and there are made-up truths.” (Following his drug arrest.)

“Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

John Bowman (District of Columbia City Councilman)
“If crime went down 100 percent, it would still be fifty times higher than it should be.”

George H. W. Bush (former President of the United States)
“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

“People say I’m indecisive, but I don’t know about that.”

George W. Bush (former President of the United States)
“I think anybody who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.”

“For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times.”

“Presidents, whether things are good or bad, get the blame.  I understand that.”

“there’s no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead.”

“One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected.”

Gerald Ford (former President of the United States)
“If Lincoln were alive today, he’d roll over in his grave.”

Lyndon Johnson (former President of the United States)
“For the first time in history, profits are higher than ever before.”

Richard Nixon (former President of the United States)
We should respect Mexico’s right to chart its own independent course, provided the course is not antagonistic to our interests.”

Dan Quayle (former Vice-President of the United States)
“I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy.  But that could change.”

Ronald Reagan (former President of the United States)
“If you could add together the power of prayer of the people just in this room, what would be its megatonnage?”

Josesph McCarthy (former United States Senator)
“That’s the most unheard-of thing I ever heard of.”

Jesse Helms (former United States Senator)
“Democracy used to be a good thing, but it has now got into the wrong hands.”

Barbara Boxer (former United States Senator)
“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’  But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe


April 29, 2017

Happy Saturday!  How about some oxymoronica to start the weekend?  According to Dr. Mardy Grothe, the word oxymoronica is used “to describe quotations that contain imcompatible or incongruous elements.”  Here’s a quotation from Bill Vaughn on nonconformity that exemplifies this point beautifully.

“If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.”

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

An Occasional Insult!

April 9, 2017

Here are a few quotations (of insults) that are simple and powerful in their own right. And yet, they are all a bit oxymoronic!

“Deep down, he’s shallow.”  (Anonymous)

“He had nothing to say and he said it.”  (Ambrose Bierce, on a contemporary)

“He’s the kind of guy that can brighten a room by leaving it.”  (Milton Berle, on a contemporary)

“A professional amateur.” (Lawrence Olivier, on Marilyn Monroe)

“He has delusions of adequacy.”  (Walter Kerr, on a contemporary actor)

“A genius with the IQ of a moron.”  (Gore Vidal, on Andy Warhol)

“An inspired idiot.”  (Horace Walpole, on Oliver Goldsmith)

“A sweetly vicious old lady.”  (Tennessee Williams, on Truman Capote)

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe.


March 9, 2017

From the book titled: oxymoronica (by Dr. Mardy Grothe), G.K. Chesterton was quoted as saying “A yawn is a silent shout.”  I’ve heard that yawns were a sign of an oxygen deficiency to the brain and they generally occur during time of relaxation and drowsiness.  There are several theories as to the why . . . physiological theory, evolution theory, boredom theory, brain-cooling theory . . . and who knows what other reasons may get posited at one time or another.  What about the “contagious” theory?  Here’s an interesting video to help explain it all.  Or, if you want to read more, here’s a link to some additional information.