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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default 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

  2. #2
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default 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.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default 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?"

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default 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.

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default 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?"

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default 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

  7. #7
    connect_gaurav is offline Newbie
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    Default 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!

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: oxymoron and paradox

    Welcome to the forums.

    Neither.

    It is using an expletive to emphasize irritation.

  9. #9
    connect_gaurav is offline Newbie
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    Default 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

  10. #10
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: oxymoron and paradox

    No. They are not related.

    A hellish paradise is an oxymoron.

    " the hell " is an expletive.

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