Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,671
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    oxymoron and paradox

    Dear teachers,

    I got confused by oxymoron and paradox. The former, according to my dictionary means " two words used together which have, or seem to have, opposite meanings" while the latter means "a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics". Could you please explain the differences between the two?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I got confused by oxymoron and paradox. The former, according to my dictionary means " two words used together which have, or seem to have, opposite meanings" while the latter means "a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics". Could you please explain the differences between the two?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    I think your attention should be focused on (two words which) seem to have.
    The writer pretends to oppose two mere antonyms or synomyms whereas in fact they have different meanings. That's a stylistic device aiming at overcoming some contradictions some tensions between seemingly opposite concepts.
    THe paradox plays with logical propositions . Those propositions most of the time are not purely logical they stem from popular wisdom.
    Paradoxs therefore aims at debunking sterotypes.
    These are just clues to help you analyse paradoxes and oxymorons. have a try.. I 'll give you further details if needed.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Here are a couple of oxymorons:

    a little pregnant You are either pregnant or not pregnant; you cannot be anything between.

    boring entertainment Entertainment is by its nature entertaining; If it is boring, then it cannot be entertaining.

    Here are a couple of paradoxes:

    A Cretan says "All Cretans are liars". If all Cretans are liars, then is this statement that all Cretans are liars the truth or a lie?

    "It is a gamble to trust anyone. Then again, can a gambler be trusted?"

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,671
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Dear CHOMAT,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
    Best wishes,
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    I think your attention should be focused on (two words which) seem to have.
    The writer pretends to oppose two mere antonyms or synomyms whereas in fact they have different meanings. That's a stylistic device aiming at overcoming some contradictions some tensions between seemingly opposite concepts.
    THe paradox plays with logical propositions . Those propositions most of the time are not purely logical they stem from popular wisdom.
    Paradoxs therefore aims at debunking sterotypes.
    These are just clues to help you analyse paradoxes and oxymorons. have a try.. I 'll give you further details if needed.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,671
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Dear Anglika,
    I seem to understand the definitions but have problem understanding examples. I shall work on it.
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Here are a couple of oxymorons:

    a little pregnant You are either pregnant or not pregnant; you cannot be anything between.

    boring entertainment Entertainment is by its nature entertaining; If it is boring, then it cannot be entertaining.

    Here are a couple of paradoxes:

    A Cretan says "All Cretans are liars". If all Cretans are liars, then is this statement that all Cretans are liars the truth or a lie?

    "It is a gamble to trust anyone. Then again, can a gambler be trusted?"


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Jiang - here's a site with lots of lovely oxymorons to work on: http://www.oxymoronlist.com/


    Paradoxes are closely linked to logical and philosophical problems and concepts. You can even have visual paradoxes : Perception puzzles, Visual Perception, Optical illusions and Paradoxes


    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 2
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    I AM NOT A TEACHER.

    Sorry, I am not exactly replying to the main question in the thread. I am, in fact, asking if this sentence I have is a paradox or an oxymoron or none of these. Is it closer to an oxymoron or a paradox? Will you say that it isn't even close to a paradox or oxymoron or both? The two contradicting words have been deliberately used.

    Here is the sentence, "Where the hell are you, sweetie?"

    Thanks!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Welcome to the forums.

    Neither.

    It is using an expletive to emphasize irritation.


    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 2
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Thanks for the reply Anglika!

    Aren't the two words "hell" and sweetie" sort of contradictory in tone and meaning? Shouldn't this classify as an oxymoron, even if a bad one?

    Regards,
    Gaurav


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: oxymoron and paradox

    No. They are not related.

    A hellish paradise is an oxymoron.

    " the hell " is an expletive.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. oxymoron
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 29-May-2007, 15:22

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •