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Thread: pretty ugly

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Exclamation pretty ugly

    what is it called when you use two words with contradictory meanings for example: that girl is pretty ugly

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: pretty ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    what is it called when you use two words with contradictory meanings for example: that girl is pretty ugly
    oxymoron

  3. #3
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    Default Re: pretty ugly

    In the sentence in question pretty is not used as an adjective meaning attractive. Instead, it's an adverb meaning somewhat; to a certain degree.
    pretty
    adv.
    1. To a fair degree; moderately: a pretty good student.
    pretty - definition of pretty by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    ~R

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    Default Re: pretty ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    In the sentence in question pretty is not used as an adjective meaning attractive. Instead, it's an adverb meaning somewhat; to a certain degree.
    pretty

    adv.

    1. To a fair degree; moderately: a pretty good student.


    ~R
    Yes, but that's true of many listed oxymorons. In jumbo shrimp, "shrimp" doesn't mean small.

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    Default Re: pretty ugly

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes, but that's true of many listed oxymorons. In jumbo shrimp, "shrimp" doesn't mean small.
    True. Also, a jumbo shrimp isn't large except in relative terms. (Some question whether "jumbo shrimp" is truly an oxymoron.)

    ~R

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: pretty ugly

    I've seen 'airline food' on many such lists and, while amusing, it is a very dubious one.

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