Posts Tagged ‘Oxymoronica’

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

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Nonconformity!

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.

Yawning!

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.

Hmm, I Imagine . . . !

August 3, 2016

While I don’t consider myself the most creative, curious, or imaginative person in the world, we all have our moments of creativity, curiousity, and imaginational wanderings. Part of the problem may lie in our lack of exercising these traits.  Here is an oxymoronic quotation that I ran across that deals with imagination.  Enjoy!

“To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination.”  (Cynthia Ozick)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mandy Grothe, p. 179.

Let’s Pretend!

June 29, 2016

Imagination is a wonderful thing.  I remember countless hours of playing make-believe or “let’s pretend,” with my brothers to pass the time during many a day.  I even tried my hand at acting in an occasional play/dramatic production (elementary school, high school, and junior college).  More recently I’ve been involved in role-playing during training exercises.  And while I have no aspirations to become an actor or pursue this as a career, it has always been a source of just plain fun.  Here are some quotations by true actors on what acting actually is . . . to them.

“What acting really is, is pretending — while you’re pretending you’re not pretending.”  (Ted Danson)

“Acting is all about honesty.   If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”  (George Burns)

“I love acting.  It’s so much more real than life.”  (Oscar Wilde)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

The Search for Happiness!

April 19, 2016

Let us ponder “the search for happiness.”  A futile search?  Can happiness really be found (attained)?  At times, I have my doubts, but then again, I so desperately want happiness to be attainable, however fleeting.  I wonder, is “contentment” the real answer to this search?   Here are some quotations to help us ponder this question.

“Some of us might find happiness if we would quit struggling so desperately for it.”  (William Feather)

“The search for happiness is one of of the chief sources of unhappiness.”  (Eric Hoffer)

“Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.”  (George Orwell)

“Happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly.”  (Bertrand Russell)

‘The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.”  (William Saroyan)

“Perfect happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.” (Chuang-Tzu)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

Just Plain Bush-ed!

March 9, 2016

People says the darnedest things from time to time.  Presidents are no exception.  You sometimes have difficulty believing that some things are actually said.  Here are a few oxymoronic lines from the former-Presidents Bush.

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

“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.” (H.W.)

“We’re enjoying slugging times, and not enjoying them very much.”  (H.W.)

I think anybody who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.” (W.)

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

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

 

Political Aspirations!

January 18, 2016

As we enter 2016, the political landscape, which has already been simmering a bit, will soon erupt in a frenzy of campaigning as we continue to work our way to the election in November.  So, I feel it is most appropriate to share a few political oxymoronica . . . enjoy!

“Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he’ll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office.”  (David S. Broder)

“Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.”  (Clement Atlee)

“The trouble in modern democracy is that men do not approach to leadership until they have lost the desire to lead anyone.”  (Lord Beveridge)

“Nobody believes a rumor here in Washington until it’s officially denied.”  (Edward Cheyfitz)

“Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be President, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.”  (John F. Kennedy)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

The Insult of Richard Wagner!

December 23, 2015

Happy Tuesday!  In consulting our copy of Oxymoronica, I discovered that Richard Wagner was the object of three “oxymoronic” insults by some pretty memorable humorists.

“I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to panes of glass with its claws.”  (Charles Baudelaire)

“The late Bill Nye once said, ‘I have been told that Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.'”  (Mark Twain)

“I like Wagner’s music better than anybody’s.  It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without other people hearing what one says.”  (Oscar Wilde)

So, just to prove his point, here is my favorite Wagnerian excerpt from the “Ride of the Valkyries.”  Enjoy!

Source: Oxymoronica,by Dr. Mardy Grothe, p. 144-145